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Since relationship breakdown is very common, people are often concerned to have some sort of "insurance" so to speak in place to protect their assets from their partner if they separate or divorce.
Unfortunately you cannot prepare a binding and legally enforceable Binding Financial Agreement without using lawyers. This is because:
Many people think they can draft up something themselves and especially think if they put that into the usual form of a contract or a Statutory Declaration, it will work to protect them.
They find out too late, that what they have drafted has no effect and that it has not given them any protection at all.
It is often said that there are no short cuts when it comes to safeguarding your assets.
Although some may consider the initial cost of a Binding Financial Agreement expensive, you can view the cost as being like payment of an Insurance premium to give you some sort of insurance against the possibility of your relationship failing.
If your relationship breaks down, how much money or assets your partner may end up being entitled to and get from you, the cost of litigation which can take months or years, not to mention the stress and emotional toll of being involved in legal proceedings, is far more expensive and often, unaffordable. A Binding Financial Agreement can be a worthwhile investment.
Whilst each party must have a lawyer involved to make a Binding Financial Agreement valid, there are essentially 2 ways you can get a Binding Financial Agreement, either:
We explain the basics of a Binding Financial Agreement in the fact sheet What is a Binding Financial Agreement.
What should you put into a Binding Financial Agreement and what should you discuss with your partner before you enter into one. Find out in our fact sheet What can you include in a Binding Financial Agreement.
You must be eligible to be able to lawfully enter into a Binding Financial Agreement. Read more in the fact sheet Who can enter into a Binding Financial Agreement.
The timing of when you enter into a Binding Financial Agreement can be important. We explain in the fact sheet When can you enter into a Binding Financial Agreement.
People often start living together, get engaged, have a baby or even get married and only then think about getting a Binding Financial Agreement. If this applies to you then you should read the fact sheet Is it too late to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement.
There are various different types of Binding Financial Agreements. If you do not use the correct type of Binding Financial Agreement for your situation it may later be found to be invalid. We explain more in our fact sheet Types of Binding Financial Agreements & What type of BFA do I need.
Will a Binding Financial Agreement actually work to protect your assets and income? Find out in the fact sheet Are Binding Financial Agreements actually Binding.
If you have entered into a new relationship or are about to and you are thinking about the provision of your Will or what might happen after you die you should know the information in our fact sheet How having a Binding Financial Agreement might help your Succession Planning.
Read the benefits of having a BFA in the fact sheet What are the Advantages of a Binding Financial Agreement.
There may be a downside to having a BFA. This is discussed in the fact sheet What are the Disadvantages of a Binding Financial Agreement.
Questions such as can your Binding Financial Agreement be changed or updated, what circumstances might have a court declare it invalid and set it aside are answered in the fact sheet Can a Binding Financial Agreement be set aside, updated or terminated.
The fact sheet How to tell your Partner you want a Binding Financial Agreement might also be helpful to you.
If you have separated or divorced and want to document your property settlement agreement in a legally binding and enforceable way, then the fact sheet Should I use a Binding Financial Agreement or a Consent Order will contain important information for you.
Michelle Beatty, Senior Lawyer
Other Questions answered in the Binding Financial Agreements Section
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