Sam and Sally have been in a relationship for three years and have recently moved in together. They both have their own home, some savings, shares and superannuation funds. They have adult children from previous relationships who now live independently, and Sam and Sally have decided that they should purchase a smaller dwelling in which to live together, now that there are no children left in the household. Both have been through separation and divorce before, including property settlement. Neither wish to go through that trauma again.
Sam consulted a Family Law Specialist and said, “Sally should have the security of knowing her house remains hers, and that I won’t make a claim on it. I would like the security of knowing my superannuation remains mine, and Sally won’t make a claim on it. Do we need a ‘pre-nup’? Do those things even work?”
Sam’s Family Law Specialist advised that security could be achieved in setting some ground rules in the event of a separation, by entering into an appropriate agreement. “We don’t call the documents, ‘pre-nups’, we call them Binding Financial Agreements,” said the Family Law Specialist. “They are specialised documents which need careful attention and particular drafting. If they’re done properly, they can be a great way to protect assets.”
Although an awkward topic, Sam’s Family Law Specialist gave him some ideas on how to broach the subject with Sally. Sally agreed a Binding Financial Agreement sounded like a sensible idea, and she obtained some advice from her own Solicitor.
By entering into a Binding Financial Agreement there is a sense of security and relief, and removal of the stress of financial concerns for themselves and for their adult children. Everyone knows where they stand.
Binding Financial Agreements can be entered into at any stage during a relationship – when you move in together or whilst you are already living together, and whether or not you are married.
However, the longer you delay the process, the more difficult it may become to implement. If asset protection is a matter concerning you, be sure to obtain some legal advice sooner rather than later.
To find out what safeguards may benefit you, contact us or call us on (02) 9523 3007 to arrange an appointment with one of our Family Law Specialists.