Financial Agreements are effectively a contract between you and your partner. It typically covers what you both agree will happen financially during the marriage and if you separate, or how property will be divided after separation, depending on the type of agreement.
Financial Agreements can be made:
- Prior to marriage;
- During a relationship (either married or de-facto); or
- After the breakdown of a relationship (either married or de-facto couples who separated after 1 March 2009)
The Family Law Act (“Act”) provides that in order for the Agreement to be effective both parties must have obtained independent legal advice regarding:
- The effect of the Agreement on the rights of the party; and
- The advantages and disadvantages, at the time that the advice was provided, to the party of making the Agreement.
A certificate from each solicitor certifying that such advice has been given must then be annexed to the Agreement.
These agreements are not filed in the Family Court and are final. Once properly executed, the Agreement will be binding unless it is set aside or varied by a Court. Subject to certain limited exceptions, the Court is not allowed to make any order for property adjustment or maintenance if such an order would be inconsistent with the terms of the Agreement.