The stress of separation may often be reduced by entering into a into a financial agreement under the Family Law Act 1975 if you are intending to get married, or a domestic relationship agreement under the Property (Relationships) Act 1984 (NSW).
So what exactly are they?
Essentially they are agreements governed by either the Family Law Act for parties intending to marry or in the case of domestic relationships in NSW they are governed by the Property Relationships) Act 1984 (NSW) and which can include same sex couples. Both financial agreements and domestic relationship agreements relate to the financial matters of the relationship and can include details of:
- how, in the event of a breakdown of the relationship, the property or financial resources of the parties will be dealt with; and
- the maintenance of either of the parties during the marriage, after divorce or both.
Why have one?
In the event that a relationship does end, the most difficult and emotionally and financially draining part of separation is very often the dispute over dividing the assets. By having a financial agreement or domestic relationship agreement in place the potential for disagreement is greatly reduced if not eliminated.
Financial agreements and domestic relationship agreements help reduce the costs associated with a contested property dispute and the parties have more control over the outcome than in a court adjudicated dispute.
A financial or domestic relationship agreement is particularly useful where:
- One party owns a business and wants to maintain control of that business in the event of the relationship breaking down;
- One party has significant assets or considerably more assets than the other;
- One party is likely or expected to inherit significant assets or considerably more assets than the other;
- The parties want certainty of how the assets will be divided and to minimize costs in the relationship breakdown.
Financial agreements and domestic relationship agreement can offer comfort and certainty for people entering into a marriage or domestic relationship as they are recognised and enforceable under both the Family Law Act and Property Relationships) Act, can save time, money and a lot of heartache.
When should you enter into a Binding Financial Agreement?
The Family Law Act enables parties to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement:
- Before getting married;
- During the marriage; or
- Following separation.
The type of agreement will vary depending when it is entered into.
See also Are Prenuptial Agreements Binding?
See also Binding Financial Agreements