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Financial Agreements

From financial agreements, to prenuptial agreements and working through complex financial issues, our lawyers are experts when it comes to these matters.

A Financial Agreement (also known as a BFA) addresses the division of property and superannuation in the event of separation. It also can provide for the payment for spousal maintenance. Financial Agreements exclude the jurisdiction of the Family Court. They are contracts signed by each party that explicitly provide that the parties do not want the Family Court to make a decision regarding the division of their assets in the event of separation. In Australia, the Family Law Act provides those individuals who are married or planning on marrying, or in a de facto relationship or intending on entering a de facto relationship can enter into a financial agreement at any of three different stages of their relationship.

Our lawyers are experts when it comes to these matters

Before marriage, a prenuptial agreement may be made. This occurs when a couple decides they want to clarify the division of their assets prior to marriage. These agreements usually set out the assets and liabilities of the parties at the date of marriage, and how they seek their pre marriage assets to be divided in comparison to the assets acquired during the marriage. These types of agreements are common between parties who are entering into a second marriage, or who own assets prior to marriage and wish to keep those assets separate to their partner’s.

As well as a prenuptial agreement, there is also potential to make a financial agreement during marriage. The parties decide that they would like to set out their financial rights and responsibilities in the event of a future separation. Alternatively, a BFA can be entered into when the parties are separated but not yet divorced. Such an agreement can provide for a division of superannuation, non-superannuation assets and any lump sum or periodic spousal maintenance. Otherwise, a BFA can be made after divorce.

Similarly, a financial agreement can be created for de facto couples in the same relationship stages. That is, before entering a de facto relationship, during it or after a relationship breakdown. Each party in the financial agreement must have obtained independent legal advice and possess a certificate from their legal practitioner confirming that they have advised their client independently of the other as to the effect of the agreement on the rights of that party, and the advantages and disadvantages at the time that the advice was provided.