Have you thought about a Prenuptial Agreement (aka Pre-Nups or Binding Financial Agreements (BFA’s))? The bad news is that the stats for marriage breakdowns in Australia are pretty high – one out of three marriages end in divorce. The rates of breakdown for de facto relationships are more like one in two.

The good news is that you can make the consequences (the need to separate your finances, allocate assets and debts) as free from unpleasantness and added expenses as possible. How do you do this? The answer is you enter into BFA with your spouse when you both still like each other. You can enter into a BFA with your spouse before you marry, before you enter into a de facto relationship or during the relationship – at any time until you separate.

It makes sense that when you are still together you are likely to be able to negotiate a fairer agreement which you can both live with and which is relatively fair than when you are in the process of separating. Careful planning needs to go into your BFA because to be effective it will need to cover all the assets and liabilities that you and your spouse are likely to have when you separate.

This is whether they are owned directly by you or through a corporate entity or by someone else on your behalf. Farrar Gesini Dunn specialise in pre-nuptial agreements and are the expert financial agreement lawyers in Canberra. Our expertise in this area is second to none.

Worried about how to raise the concept of a BFA with your spouse? We can help. You are not alone. We can see both of you if necessary for a preliminary meeting to explain what is involved and to discuss the benefits of such agreements to both of you.

Worried about what such an agreement might cost you? We can help – we have different costing packages taking into account the complexity of the agreement, your needs and whether you prefer to pay in a fixed fee quote or instalments over a periods. You will know upfront what the agreement will cost you.

It is particularly important to think about doing such an agreement if one of the following applies to you:

  1. You are entering into a second or subsequent relationship and one or both of you have children from a previous relationship whose interests you want to look after.
  2. If you are forming a new relationship later in life and each of you have substantial assets that you are bringing into the relationship and you want to keep those safe if you later separate.
  3. If one of you has far more in the way of wealth than the other and you want to be clear about how that is to be treated if you separate in the future.
  4. If one of you is about to or has received a large inheritance from a family member, a redundancy payment, or a lottery win.
  5. If one of you has special needs or you have a child with special needs, meaning that their need for future support needs to be looked after.
  6. If you want to be certain that you wont have to the obligations you have your spouse as to paying their maintenance (if you upon separation are clear and well understood or signed away?).
  7. If you are in a family business and want to make sure that divorce or separation of one of the other family members is not going to ruin the business or expose the other business partners to financial damage.

For a practical, no nonsense, approach to BFAs, contact Farrar Gesini Dunn (the best family lawyers in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney).