Of increasing importance to our family law clients is protecting their assets in case of a future relationship breakdown. Clients may already own a substantial amount of assets before entering into a marriage or de facto relationship, and want to ensure that if the relationship ends, there is no prolonged and acrimonious dispute about the division of assets, and in particular, that they will not come out of the relationship having lost assets to the other party.
In taking this approach, parties are accepting of the reality that there are no guarantees as to the success or longevity of a relationship, and they are being mindful of their potential future needs for financial protection, but also their need to protect their children and others to whom they wish to leave their assets under their will.
The common name for this kind of protection is a “pre-nuptial agreement” – however, in Australia, the agreement is known as a Binding Financial Agreement. Also differing from many client’s presumptions, is the fact that in Australia, a Binding Financial Agreement can be entered into before, during or after a marriage or de facto relationship.