If you or your partner have assets or savings, a Prenuptial Agreement (also known as a Financial Agreement) could save you both a lot of stress and pain down-the-track if things don’t work out the way you hope…
“A Prenuptial or Financial Agreement can be entered into at any stage of a relationship – before moving in together or getting married, during a marriage or de facto relationship, or even after separation.”
Who should get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial and Financial Agreements are becoming more and more commonplace – particularly for people who are entering into relationships in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond. This is because the older we are, the more assets we tend to have accumulated and the more likely we are to want to protect them.
For most people, a prenuptial agreement is a good idea if you or your partner:
- Have assets – savings, investments, property, businesses, inheritances etc.
- Have liabilities – debts or financial obligations of any kind, from mortgages, to credit card debt and child support.
- Are likely to receive an inheritance, be awarded damages, or come in to a significant amount of money.
- Have a family member who may provide financial assistance (eg deposit to purchase a home) during the relationship.
A Prenuptial Agreement gives you both certainty
There is a mis-conception that Prenuptial Agreements need to be entered into before you get married. This is actually incorrect. A Prenuptial or Financial Agreement can be created at any stage in a relationship – before you move in together or get married, while you’re married or in a de facto relationship, or even after a relationship has ended. It allows both parties to:
- Protect your assets in the event that things don’t work out the way you’ve hoped.
- Prevent an ugly and costly separation.
- Make sure you’re both on the same page in terms of what is expected of one another.
Creating an agreement before entering into, or during a relationship
It is important to keep in mind that all agreements have the potential to be set aside, so to ensure that your Prenuptial Agreement is legally binding you need to make sure:
- You and your partner get independent legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.
- You both fully disclose your current and potential future assets as part of the process.
- Some financial benefit is granted to the other party, if there is an unequal asset distribution at the commencement of the relationship – depending on the length of the relationship.
- If English is a second language (for one or both parties) an interpreter or translator is used to ensure they fully understand the documents, before signing.
- The agreement be reviewed if and when your circumstances change (eg if you have children or one person is no longer able to work).