Many Couples enter into Financial Agreements during a relationship. Such Agreements can be entered into before, during and after the marriage as well as at any stage of a De facto relationship.
The Law Council has released a statement advising its concern that many Financial Agreements entered into by couples are not legally binding. The Law Council has stated that “do-it-yourself” kits appeal to many couples, however, they may not constitute a legal document and should not be relied upon on the breakdown of a relationship.
The Law Council has advised that couples must obtain legal advice for a Financial Agreement to be legally binding and enforceable, and the solicitors who provide the advice must also sign the Financial Agreement and provide a specific certificate of independent legal advice. It is very important for individuals to obtain independent legal advice, as signing a Financial Agreement represents that the couple has given up their rights to have a Court hear and determine any dispute about the financial matters gained in the Agreement.
Financial Agreements can help streamline or avoid disputes with regard to a financial settlement between a couple and can also save on the costs and the stress of litigation. It is important, however, that each person entering into a Financial Agreement is aware of their obligations under such an Agreement to ensure it is legally binding. The Law Council notes that a Binding Financial Agreement may only be set aside in very limited circumstances.
For more information on financial agreements, click here.
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