I'm about to get Married. Do I need a Binding Financial agreement?

Binding Financial Agreements Success

This is no right or wrong answer to this question honestly. We do have some of the common reasons why people might enter into a binding financial agreement before the commencement of a marriage listed below such as:

  1. You are bringing substantial assets into the marriage;
  2. You have children from a previous relationship and wish to ensure they are provided for in the event of your death or divorce;
  3. You or your spouse has significant debts;
  4. You own property prior to marriage and wish to keep this separate from any property acquired during the marriage.
  5. You have a particular asset you want to protect.

Contact our Affordable and Professional Success Family Lawyers

Success Binding Financial Agreements

Can we get a BFA if we’re already separated?

Yes, you can get a BFA even after separating from your partner. This is due to the fact that a BFA agreement can be made at any time – before during or after a relationship.

The BFA after the separation is more final because you know exactly what assets you have and how they will be split. If you can’t reach an agreement, you may consider going to court over property litigation.

Because of its specificity, the court is not as involved (compared to processes like Consent Orders). The court only ever gets involved over disagreements with a BFA, which often don’t occur because the agreement outlines how you will resolve any disputes, with ‘backup’ clauses to ensure the right actions are in place to fix issues.

 

How a BFA works

The first, and most important step is to have a finalised agreement between you and your partner. What will you split? Who will keep what? What are the conditions?

Next, your agreement gets drafted by our expert family lawyers. This draft BFA outlines your agreement, with specifics to cover everything.

You and your partner then have a chance to read over the agreement, make changes (if required) and ask questions. We can review, make amendments, and negotiate for a better outcome for you if needed.

Once you have both agreed on these details, you will each need to sign the agreement in front of a lawyer. This is important, as it means your Binding Financial Agreement is now legally binding and can be used if there are any disputes later on.

What does a BFA Cover?

A Binding Financial Agreement can cover a wide range of topics, from property settlements and spousal maintenance to superannuation and tax.

You can also use them for de facto relationships and same-sex couples.

Some of the common issues BFA’s deal with are:

  • How property will be divided if you separate;
  • Who will pay spousal maintenance and how much;
  • What will happen to the family home;
  • How your superannuation will be divided; and
  • Debts and other liabilities.

Binding Financial Agreements are a great way to protect yourself, your property and your family in the event of a relationship breakdown. If you’re thinking about entering into one, make sure you seek legal advice first so you know exactly what you’re agreeing to.

Benefits of a BFA

So what exactly are the benefits to a BFA?

There are many benefits of having a Binding Financial Agreement in place, including:

  • You have control over what happens to your property and finances if you separate;
  • You can protect your assets (e.g. the family home, investments, businesses) in the event of a relationship breakdown;
  • You can make sure your children are taken care of financially if you separate;
  • You can avoid the costly and time-consuming process of going to court if you can’t agree on these issues later on.

If you’re thinking about entering into a BFA, make sure you seek legal advice first so you know exactly what you’re agreeing to. This is especially important if you have children, own property or have other assets that need to be taken into account.

A Binding Financial Agreement can give you peace of mind and help avoid any future disputes, saving you time, money and stress. Contact us today to find out more.

What is the difference between a consent order and a binding financial agreement?

Consent orders and BFAs are the two options separating couples have for making their property and financial agreement legally binding.

What can be included?

Consent orders: can include arrangements for your children

BFA: are for the purpose of financial and property matters only.

When can they be made?

Consent orders: can only be made after separation

BFA: can be made and entered into before, during or after a marriage or de facto relationship.

Legal Advice

Consent orders: It is not compulsory to receive legal advice for consent orders, though it is recommended.

BFA: It is a strict requirement for both parties when entering into a BFA. A BFA is not valid if either party has failed to obtain independent legal advice.

Just and equitable

Consent orders: Are ledged by the Family Court of WA which will then determine whether or not the proposed property and financial orders are fair.

BFA: are not lodged at the family court at all. A BFA is essentially a binding contract between you and your partner or ex-partner.

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