When couples separate or divorce, the financial impact can often be profound. Financial agreements allow married or de facto couples to make decisions about their property and assets. This can occur before or during a relationship, or if it breaks down. These agreements can make things easier when it comes time to divide assets and money.
As compassionate family law experts, we can work with you to make sure that your agreement doesn’t unfairly benefit one party. We can help you to create a legally binding agreement, which is made in line with the Family Law Act (1975).
Financial Agreements and Separation
Similar to pre-nuptial agreements, financial agreements are mutually agreed to documents that cover end-of-relationship decisions about:
• Superannuation and;
• Spousal maintenance
In the best case scenario, couples never need to use these agreements, but they can lessen your stress in the case of a separation, and even avoid the need to go to court.
These agreements are not always binding under the law though, and a court can determine whether they are enforceable in the case of disputes.
The Importance of Legal Advice
For financial agreements to be legally binding, independent legal advice from a family lawyer is crucial. At Bartels Lawyers, we can navigate the legal side of your agreement, making sure that the stringent requirements are met and that your agreement is created and recorded accurately.
Equally, if you are unsure about a financial agreement you have signed, we can review it to help you determine its legality. We recommend that you always pursue independent legal advice before signing these agreements.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are entering a relationship, or considering separation or divorce, we can answer all your questions about financial agreements. To organise a free initial consultation, call us on (07) 3341 2222. To assist you with general enquires, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Are financial agreements legally binding and enforceable?
Financial agreements are not ordered court and are not automatically enforceable after their creation. A court can determine their validity based on a range of factors, including meeting legislative requirements. This makes legal advice essential.
How do we ensure the legality of our agreement?
Consult extensively with a lawyer to ensure the contents of the agreement meet legal specifications. As well as this each party must:
• Sign the agreement
• Receive independent legal advice before signing
• Receive independent financial advice before signing
Can we cancel our financial agreement?
Yes. Signing a new agreement can terminate the old one while there are also written documents you can complete to formally terminate an agreement.
Are there ways to override the agreement?
The court can disregard an agreement for a range of reasons. An agreement being rendered void or unenforceable is one major reason, but other factors such as its impracticality; a change in circumstances and fraud can void an agreement.