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Financial Agreements Before Marriage (also known as Pre-Nups)

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The concept of a prenuptial agreement in Australia is still a relatively new and one that is fraught with uncertainty.

Recently the Family Courts have seen a wave of Financial Agreements being set aside for a number of reasons, the main ones being:

  1. Duress – the financially stronger party pressuring the other to sign the Agreement mere days before the wedding or threatening to call off the wedding if they refuse to sign it;
  2. Lack of appropriate financial disclosure by either party (i.e. failing to disclose a bank account);
  3. Lack of appropriate and comprehensive advice by either party’s solicitor – even if your solicitor has discharged their obligations in relation to the Agreement you never know how “quality” is the advice being received by the other prospective spouse.

 Although it is difficult to anticipate life’s events, a properly drafted Financial Agreement whilst does not “guarantee” protection can be a helpful tool in the unfortunate event of a marriage breakdown.

 In order to get the most of your “pre-nup” we suggest that you:

  1. plan ahead – see a lawyer well before the intended wedding date or date of cohabitation;
  2. be prepared to disclose your financial position (including all assets and liabilities, family trust); and
  3. give each other space and time to consider any proposed agreement.
  4. see a specialist Family Lawyer who will advise you properly in accordance with the requirements of the Family Law Act.

 For more information about Pre-Nups, please contact our Family Law team by email family@mst.com.au or by telephone +61 8540 0200.