Prenuptial Agreements Lawyers Sydney
At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, our team of lawyers have specific expertise in drafting prenuptial agreements to assist parties to protect their assets in the event that an upcoming marriage breaks down in the future. It is not a romantic notion to be planning for the breakdown of a marriage before the wedding even happens, but it is a practical approach to a future possibility by using the goodwill present prior to a marriage with the aim of minimising distress and difficulty if the marriage breaks down. So if you are planning a wedding, consider speaking with one of our experienced lawyers at Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers to discuss whether this may be right for you. And do not leave it until the last minute before the big day, as these agreements are complex and there is a process involved.
All of this applies equally to agreements made before commencing living together for de facto couples, including same sex couples. g prior to and also during the marriage.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is properly known as a Financial Agreement made under section 90B of the Family Law Act (or section 90UB in the case of de facto couples). A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement that sets out how your assets and debts will be dealt with in the event of a breakdown of your relationship. These agreements are commonly entered into prior to a marriage but can also be entered during the marriage. Some of the common assets and property that parties seek to protect include cash, real estate, businesses, trusts, superannuation and inheritances.
It is common for people to think that a prenuptial agreement is an easy, straightforward agreement. In reality, these agreements are highly complex and require you to consider many possible variables, some of which you may never have previously ever thought about.
Is a prenuptial agreement appropriate for me?
The appropriateness of a prenuptial agreement depends upon the individual circumstances of each particular couple. These agreements may be appropriate:
- To protect the assets of one party who is entering the relationship with significant assets;
- In second marriages to protect prior assets and/or to insure that children of previous relationships are protected;
- To preserve family businesses;
- To protect assets of a party which may be inherited during the marriage;
- To give significant weight to contributions made by either spouse during a marriage;
- If a spouse is financially involved with a third party such as a parent, trust or company, to protect from future claims by the spouse;
- When one party has substantial debts at the outset of the relationship.
What are the advantages of entering into a prenuptial agreement?:
The advantages of entering into a prenuptial agreement are that:
- The agreement clarifies initial and, sometimes, ongoing financial contributions of the parties;
- Promotes better communication in the long term;
- Is designed to be entered into in good faith and promotes parties being open as to their financial position;
- Removes a source of stress from parties should they separate;
- Gives greater certainty and control to the parties over their financial affairs;
- Promotes speedier resolution of property matters.
There are also potential disadvantages to entering into a prenuptial agreement, given that in doing so you are signing away potential entitlements under the Family Law Act. At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, we will provide you with an honest, straightforward assessment of the merits, or not, of a potential prenuptial agreement in your own unique circumstances.
Validity of the Prenuptial Agreement:
There are numerous technical requirements of any Financial Agreement under the Family Law Act, and so it is essential that you obtain specialist advice on a proposed agreement.
It is also essential that the agreement is entered into with the full, free consent of both of the parties. One ground on which a Financial Agreement can be set aside is in circumstances where one person enters into the under duress. Therefore it is important to plan this agreement well before your marriage so that there is ample time to negotiate the terms your prospective spouse.
It is essential that both parties have relevant legal advice prior to signing the prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement can be a tough issue to address, and at Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, we will help guide you through this process as we have since the very early days of prenuptials being valid in Australia. If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, or have been asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, then get in contact with us and benefit from our specialist advice. Call us today to make an appointment in an office near you. 02 9633 1088