Binding Financial Agreements (BFA’s) were introduced in December 2000. They enable couples who are getting married, are married, or even after they have divorced to make their own private agreement to:-
a.) Decide how they want to divide their assets (or only some of them);
b.) Permanently remove spousal maintenance obligations.
c.) Exclude the jurisdiction of the Family Court to make orders for property settlement and/or spousal maintenance.
Binding Financial Agreements were made available to De Facto relationships or intended De Facto relationships in 2010.
In the early days the Family Court jealously guarded its powers and acted to set aside these agreements if they did not perfectly comply in every respect with the legislation. The result was many of these agreements were invalidated for minor errors or drafting defects.
The Australian Parliament wants people to be free to decide how they would like to sort out their own property division and maintenance issues if their relationship breaks down. Over time by a series of amendments Parliament has simplified the requirements for these Financial Agreements and reduced the Court’s power to invalidate them.
In most cases, a Binding Financial Agreement cost much less than what it costs for Day One in the Family Court.
Financial Agreements remain the most effective way of protecting assets brought into the marriage or relationship.
Protecting your assets in the marriage can be very important especially for couples who come into a relationship where one person has most of the assets or in the case of a second marriage where either spouse wants to preserve an inheritance for children of their first marriage in the event of another relationship breakdown.
If you would like to discuss your personal situation in regards to the importance of a Binding Financial Agreement please call us on (07) 3209 7744 and we would be happy to book an appointment for a Family Lawyer to assist you.