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Do I need a pre-nuptial agreement?


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Rising Australian divorce rates are forcing more and more marrying couples to address an oft avoided question – do I need a pre-nuptial agreement? For some, the answer will be a straight no – after all, there’s nothing like a binding financial agreement (the official name for a pre-nup) to kill the romance. But with the increasing incidence of relationship breakdowns, more and more couples are approaching the issue rationally and considering and signing such agreements.

Legal changes to binding financial agreements (BFA) in 2009 made them enforceable by a court even if they contained minor mistakes. BFAs were also made available to a wider pool of couples, including de facto and same-sex couples. Married couples can also enter into a BFA while they are married, or use a BFA to divvy up their assets in the case of divorce.

So what makes a pre-nuptial agreement a sound financial decision for some, and not for others? If you’re wondering whether you need a BFA, here is a list of questions to ask yourself to gauge whether it is a wise option for you.

• Would you like the certainty of knowing how funds and assets will be divided should the marriage fail?
• Do you have children from a previous marriage, dependent parents or grandparents that you need to support, even if the marriage fails?
• Does one party have a sizable debt?
• Do you anticipate a significant inheritance?
• Do you own a successful business?

These questions help prompt consideration over whether there are circumstances or financial issues that warrant a BFA, or whether the security of your money is a concern to you.

For many, binding financial agreements are seen as a bad omen – a prediction that the marriage will fail even before it has begun. But when a BFA is thought through and a joint decision between two partners, it can be an astute financial decision. Divorce can be a costly affair, and a BFA can protect both parties from high divorce costs. It can also solve issues before they arise, should they arise.

While a prenuptial agreement may be disconcerting, make sure you consider whether arranging a binding financial agreement is the right decision for you and your partner.

Experienced family lawyers from au can help you understand and prepare your prenuptial agreement .


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