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Is a binding financial agreement right for us?

No one ever mentions money when they’re talking about ‘Happily Ever After’ - But maybe they should.

No one likes to think about their relationship breaking down, but life doesn’t always go to plan.

Whether you’re planning your future together or going your separate ways, a binding financial agreement helps you move towards the future with confidence – regardless of what that future holds.

Here’s why a binding financial agreement might be a must-have for your relationship.

Everything’s great – and we’re hoping it’ll stay that way

There’s nothing wrong with planning for the worst while hoping for the best.

And that’s precisely what a binding financial agreement helps you do.

By agreeing at the outset how you’ll deal with your assets – and your liabilities – if your relationship does break down, you’re setting the standard for an open and honest relationship. One where you can communicate your needs and wishes while ensuring you’re both protected if the worst does come to pass.

Under Australian law, financial agreements are the only tool you can use to separate or ‘quarantine’ family assets or debts, protecting them from spousal claim.

If you want to create certainty around who walks away with what at the end of a relationship, you need to put a plan in place.

It’s true that binding financial agreements can be challenged and set aside by the courts in certain circumstances.

But this is no different from any other form of contract.

And just because an agreement can be challenged doesn’t mean that challenge will be successful.

In fact, if your agreement has been drafted correctly, you’ve been honest with one another while it was made, and you both received competent legal advice before signing on the dotted line, a successful challenge is highly unlikely.

A formalised agreement provides certainty and protection – two things you don’t want to be without if life doesn’t turn out how you’d expected.

If you want to protect your assets and be prepared for whatever life has to throw at you, a binding financial agreement is a must-have.

Things haven’t gone to plan and we want to get on with our separate lives

Ending a relationship’s never easy.

It’s stressful and emotional.

But although moving on can be difficult, you can still step into the future with certainty and confidence.

All you need is a plan.

A financial agreement can help you plan for an otherwise uncertain future.

Bringing an end to your financial relationship, a financial agreement allows both of you to quarantine any assets or financial resources you’ve retained during negotiations from any future claim by the other party.

Consent orders do the same thing.

However, consent orders need to be approved by the court – a sometimes lengthy and almost always stressful process.

Because they may also deal with parenting issues, it’s up to the court to decide whether your agreement is fair, reasonable and in everyone’s best interests. As there’s no automatic approval, it can be a time consuming and expensive means of moving on.

A binding financial agreement is different.

A financial agreement doesn’t require the approval of the court. So getting an agreement in place is faster, less stressful and less expensive than getting a consent order.

You also get to make your own decisions about how your property is divided.

However, financial agreements are only appropriate for couples who’ve reached a genuine agreement and don’t need the assistance of the court.

If you’re both ready to move on with respect, trust and honesty, a financial agreement might be just right for you.

Is a binding financial agreement the right choice for you?

Are you:

  • Focused on creating a secure and protected future – one where you’re certain which assets you’ll retain if things don’t work out as planned?
  • In agreement about how you’ll deal with your assets and liabilities – both throughout the relationship and into the future – regardless of what happens?
  • Committed to communicating openly and honestly with one another and ready to agree to an arrangement that satisfies both your needs?

If so – Start by Choosing the Right Agreement