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 Financial Agreements

Financial arrangements can be made at different stages of a relationship by couples. They are contracts drafted to protect their assets and insulate some or all of their individual assets from becoming part of the asset pool which can be divided between pool and potentially being distributed to their partner upon divorce or death. Financial agreements are similar to pre-nuptial agreements but are signed before, during and after a marriage. Under section 90D of the Family Law Act, financial agreements cover, division of property, finances and debts after the marriage breakdown, superannuation, spousal maintenance and other matters. There are advantages and disadvantages of entering into Financial Agreements that have an impact on your rights to assets and resources.

Financial agreements can only be legally binding if both parties have signed the agreement and received independent legal advice and separate financial advice before signing the agreement.

Estate plans should always be updated upon entering a marriage. Acknowledging a new spouse by including them in your estate plan, or ratifying and confirming a prenuptial agreement, is critical to preserving your rights and assets according to your wishes. One spouse may wish to ensure that assets are available for the benefit of children from a previous marriage, or that assets are available for the second spouse. It may also be possible to establish trusts to fund the education of grandchildren or for medical purposes. ABMS LAWYERS can assist you with these complex arrangements so you know where you stand and whether Financial Agreements are suitable for your present and future needs.

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ABMS LAWYERS can help you develop or review a financial agreement that suites your particular needs. Do not hesitate to give our Family Lawyers call on (08) 9474 2832 to discuss your options.

Superannuation

Even though superannuation comes under a separate part of the Family Law Act 1975, it is considered as property and is taken into account in the overall property settlement. It is subject to the same principles as other property. All superannuation is taken into account, regardless of whether it was acquired before or during the relationship or after separation. It is not automatically subject to an equal split of 50/50 and the Court will decide based on how much a party gives based on what is "just and equitable" in a given situation. There are two elements to splitting superannuation:

  • How to value superannuation interests being accumulated and potential and.

  • How to split payments

It is important to note that splitting superannuation does not enable you to access it any earlier. It is still subject to superannuation laws and is only accessible after the attainment of the retirement age unless one satisfies).

Before you enter an agreement, file for consent orders or make an application to court you will need to obtain the valuation information for your superannuation. You can obtain information relating to your superannuation from your Superannuation fund itself. To do this, you will need to provide a Form 6 Declaration to your super fund to show them that you are entitled to this information. You will also need to fill the Superannuation Information Request Form and Superannuation Information Form.

A Self –Managed Superannuation Fund interest is also taken into account by the court. A SMSF is governed by a different set of rules and so care should be taken to ensure compliance with the regulations.

To schedule an initial reduced fee consultation at a cost of $250 for your Family Law matter, contact us on (08) 94742832, via email or make an online booking.