Marriage isn’t for everyone, however, the law in Australia does not discriminate between married and de facto couples. While traditional prenuptial agreements are commonly associated with wedded couples, a de facto prenup agreement, also known as a binding financial agreement, is a legal document entered into by couples who are in a committed relationship but are not legally married. It outlines the rights, responsibilities, and financial arrangements between the parties in the event of a separation, dissolution of the relationship, or any other specified circumstances.

While most people enter into a relationship expecting it to last, statistics show that over half of de facto relationships end up in separation. Here we will explore de facto prenups and why you should consider one if your relationship is getting serious.

Understanding a Binding Financial Agreement

While they are made under different sections of the Family Law Act, Binding Financial Agreements made in relation to de facto relationships offer every bit of flexibility and protection that one made in relation to marriage does.

Similar to a traditional prenup, the purpose is to provide clarity and protection to both parties in the event that the relationship ends. It typically covers the following aspects:

Property and Asset Division – It outlines how the couple’s shared assets, properties, and debts will be divided in the event of separation or dissolution. It can establish the ownership rights of each partner and specify how assets acquired during the relationship will be allocated.

Financial Support – It may address financial support, such as spousal maintenance or alimony, in case of separation. It can outline the conditions under which one partner may be obligated to provide financial support to the other.

Debt and Liabilities – It can specify how joint debts or liabilities will be handled if the relationship ends. It may establish each partner’s responsibility for any shared debts and outline the repayment arrangements.

Rights and Obligations – A de facto prenuptial agreement can establish the rights and obligations of each partner during the relationship, including matters related to property management, joint finances, and decision-making.

Child Custody and Support – If the couple has children or plans to have children, the agreement may address matters related to child custody, visitation rights, and child support. However, it’s important to note that child-related provisions may be subject to review by the court, as the best interests of the child are typically prioritised.

Dispute Resolution – The agreement may include provisions for resolving disputes, such as mediation or arbitration, rather than resorting to litigation in case of disagreements.

It’s essential to consult with a qualified family lawyer or prenup lawyer when drafting an agreement to ensure that it is legally valid and enforceable. The laws governing such agreements may vary from state to state, so it’s important to understand the specific requirements and limitations of the relevant legal framework.

Many Australians don’t realise just how serious the financial implications are of dating someone long-term. By entering into a de facto prenuptial agreement, couples can proactively address potential issues and safeguard their respective rights and interests, providing peace of mind and clarity if the relationship were to fall apart in the future.

Prenup Lawyer Melbourne – Robert Wood and Associates

Considering a Binding Financial Agreement? Speak to our experienced team today. As trusted local lawyers Ringwood couples and families rely on, we are here to help with honest and accurate legal advice to help you make informed decisions. Reach out to us online or make an appointment by calling 03 9762 3877 today.