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Legal advice and your financial agreement

Before a financial agreement becomes legally binding, both parties are required by law to obtain independent legal advice.  Why is this so?

Under section 90G for married couples, or section 90UJ for de facto couples, parties to a financial agreement must receive independent  legal advice before they execute their agreement.  Independent meaning you cannot use the same lawyer.

This is to ensure that the parties understand:

a)    the advantages and disadvantages of making the agreement; and

b)    what rights you give up, including the right to have a court decide on matters that are dealt with in the agreement.

So by getting proper legal advice, independent of the other party, the Act makes it near impossible to argue that you didn’t know what you were signing.  The lawyers will also make inquiry that the parties are entering the agreement of their own free will and that neither is under pressure or duress to sign the agreement.

The Legal Advice acts as a Safety Net and ensures the strength of your agreement.

How do we get the legal advice?

You basically have two options when it comes to obtaining the legal advice. You can:-

  • consult your own lawyers (one for each party and they must be independent of each other); or
  • take advantage of our fixed, low fee financial agreement Review Service – in most cases it’s only $1790 for both parties.

How the Legal Review Service Works

1

Complete your Draft Agreement

Complete your financial agreement using the Kit, plain English users guide, sample agreement and clauses.

2

Get your Draft Assessed

Send your draft agreement to us and we will assess it for suitability for the Fixed Price Legal Review Service. Once

3

Pay for the Legal Review Service

Once your draft is approved, we'll send you a payment link to purchase the Review Service at the standard set fee, if it applies to your Agreement.

4

Contact your Lawyer

We encourage you to phone your lawyer at your earliest convenience to arrange a time for your telephone conference, at which you will review your agreement with your solicitor and receive your legal advice.

5

Acknowledge Advice

After receiving your advice, your lawyer will email you a letter confirming their legal advice which will require your acknowledgement before the lawyer sends the final paperwork.

6

Lawyer sends final documents

When they receive your signed Acknowledgement, your solicitor will post you hard copies of your:- a) final agreement, to be signed by you and the other party; and b) your Solicitor’s Certificate.

7

Sign the Agreement

When you receive your documents, attach the signed Solicitor’s Certificates of both parties to one copy of the final agreement.  You should both initial your Solicitor’s Certificates, and sign your financial agreement in the presence of a witness.  You will receive more detailed instructions on signing your agreement in your Kit and from your solicitors.

8

Store it in a safe place

The original signed agreement should be held by one party, and the other party MUST be given a FULL COPY of the Agreement, including copies of both of the Solicitor’s Certificates. Store your agreement in a safe place.  You do not need to file a copy with the Court or any other organisation.

The Standard Fee

Most of the agreements that we see fit the requirements for the Fixed fee. Occasionally we see matters that are more complex and therefore require more consideration and time from the lawyer providing the advice.

The standard fee will not apply if an agreement is overly complex, incomplete or requires drafting by a solicitor.

Complicating matters may include intermingled business affairs which need to be dissected, or the involvement of extensive companies and/or trusts.  In such cases, additional fees may apply, and if so, we will provide you with a fixed fee quote, before you decide whether to proceed.

In our experience, the set fee applies to most agreements.

Infographic of the Process

Document Review Service Infographic

Ready to Get Started?

We can help you implement a financial agreement which means you can:

  • stay out of court;
  • stay in control;
  • reduce your stress; and
  • save $$$$ in legal fees.

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