Pre-nuptial agreements have been legal in Australia since 2001. People are allowed to protect their property if everyone agrees and the process is fair. This requires all our skill and experience. It is emotional at the start of a happy relationship too, and can be difficult to broach this subject. For a wealthy party, pre-nuptial agreements are the best insurance policy you will ever get. Recent Court decisions show that such agreements, which are contracts between individuals, need to be fair and can’t just be imposed on the poorer party. The decisions also demonstrate the need for expert legal advice before settling on such an agreement.
In Australia, we don’t have the long tradition of these agreements like the US and many have been overruled by the courts. Parties to marriages and de facto relationships can make agreements about what might happen in the event that their relationship ends in a separation. These types of agreements are referred to in the legislation as Financial Agreements. They are also known as Binding Financial Agreements, but to make them binding is the difficult part. However, they are most commonly known in Australia and internationally as Pre-Nuptial Agreements.
Many legal firms do not take instructions to prepare Pre-Nuptial Financial Agreements as they are legal dynamite at the moment. Despite the difficulties and the risk of being sued, we have decided to keep doing this work. We feel that if they are legal, and if people want to protect their assets, then we should provide the advice. It is a core family law legal service. If a specialist Family law firm will not do it, who will? We also provide advice in relation to Pre-Nuptial Financial Agreements that are already on foot, most commonly where one party is seeking to set aside the agreement. Over the years, new judgments have given more guidance about what attitude the Court will take to the enforcement of these agreements. There have been changes in the law and movement in community attitudes. We actively followed and shaped the evolving law about these agreements.
If you’re considering a pre-nuptial agreement or seeking to set the agreement aside, please contact us on 9793 7888 to discuss your situation.