Services

Pre Nups & Binding Financial Agreements

At Rockwell Bates

Couples can make a Binding Financial Agreement (a.k.a BFA) at any time in their relationship, whether it’s before, during or after they’re married, according to the rules and requirements of the Commonwealth Family Law Act. These agreements are also known as Prenuptial Agreements or ‘Prenups’ and they can offer both parties financial peace of mind if there is a breakdown in the relationship and they want to separate or divorce.

Prenuptial Agreements can help avoid messy court cases and property settlement disputes, and they are a key element of asset protection and wealth planning for couples who separate. Couples are increasingly taking up the option of Prenups or Binding Financial Agreements, seeing them as a practical solution, especially with the rising number of marriages and de-facto relationships that end in separation and divorce in Australia.

At Rockwell Bates, we know how sensitive the topic of Prenuptial Agreements can be. That’s why our Binding Financial Agreement lawyers offer sensitive, specialist advice to help you and your partner enter into an agreement that is fair and offers maximum certainly should you wish to separate in future.

Why Get a Prenup? What are the Benefits?

Those who benefit most from Prenups are those with a lot of assets they want to preserve and protect from a claim by their partner should they separate. This particularly applies to anyone entering into a new relationship who wants to make sure their assets benefit a child or children from the former marriage or de-facto relationship, rather than benefit their new partner or their children. Prenups can protect a certain asset or all of the property of both parties.

Prenups or BFAs can also include child support matters, whereas Family Court Orders don’t usually cover these, and can include situations where a couple has a child or they plan to have more children. They also cover wills and inheritances or if a certain event happens or does not occur.

How to Get a Prenup in Australia

You cannot write up your own Prenup in Australia; it must be drawn up by a Prenup lawyer. So, the best way to make sure you get a quality service and a sound, legally binding agreement is to call Rockwell Bates lawyers as soon as possible. But be aware that you must make sure your partner is willing to enter into a Prenup. If your partner point blank refuses to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement, then you cannot proceed with the process. 

Another aspect to take into consideration is that your partner will need to have his or her own independent lawyer handling their side of the Prenup negotiations. 

Costs of a Prenuptial Agreement

Every couple is different, and each will need different Prenups which will affect the price, but in general, a simple Prenuptial Agreement should cost each of you between $5,000 to $10,000. Each party must be legally represented separately and if complications with regard to trusts or companies are evident, the cost could rise up to $20,000. You would be advised to seek quotes from your lawyer and others before you commit, but make sure you are getting quality for your money. The worst thing you can do is to try to cut costs and corners since the agreement must comply with Family Law Act requirements.

What is a Binding Financial Agreement?

A Binding Financial Agreement is a document outlining what is to happen to assets and property in the event of a breakdown of a relationship. The agreement is entered into under the Family Law Act and allows each party to set out how their property and assets will be divided should they separate or have separated.

If you and your partner sign a Binding Financial Agreement, you forgo any rights you may have to make claims against each other under the Family Law Act.

Is a Binding Financial Agreement the Same as a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement or ‘Prenup’ is popular terminology in America and other countries and refers to an agreement made by a couple before marriage. The term Prenup is now used often in Australia to refer to its equivalent here which is called a Binding Financial Agreement.

When Can I Enter Into a Binding Financial Agreement?

Providing you and your partner can agree that it is in both of your interests to have a Binding Financial Agreement, you can enter into one at any time. If you are living together in a de-facto relationship, intending to marry or even if you are already married, you can organise with your separate lawyers to advise you and draw up and negotiate your agreement.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Prenuptial Agreements?

A Prenup written by anyone other than a lawyer is not binding in Australia. Under the Family Law Act requirements, both parties in a Prenuptial Agreement or Binding Financial Agreement must have a separate lawyer acting for them. Otherwise, the agreement is not binding under the law and cannot be used to divide property and assets in the event of a breakdown of a relationship or marriage.

If you’re searching online for a Prenup lawyer in Melbourne ‘near me’ check out our credentials.

Rockwell Bates remains focused on premium Family Law and Private Client matters for our clients. Call us today on 03 8657 8596 or send a message via the online form.

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