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Family Law Financial Agreement
Fairness is not a reason to set aside the financial agreement.


In New South Wales (NSW), Australia, a financial agreement refers to a legally binding document made between parties who are either married, intending to marry, or in a de facto relationship. It is also commonly known as a “prenuptial agreement” or a “binding financial agreement” (BFA).

A financial agreement allows the parties to agree on how their property, financial resources, and other assets will be divided in the event of a separation, divorce, or the end of their de facto relationship. It provides an alternative to the property division laws set out in the Family Law Act 1975.


The purpose of a financial agreement is to provide certainty and security for both parties by outlining their rights and obligations regarding property division. It can cover various aspects, including:

  1. How property, assets, and debts will be divided.
  2. Whether spousal maintenance will be paid and in what amount.
  3. Financial arrangements during the relationship or after separation.
  4. Superannuation (pension) entitlements.
  5. Financial support for children.

To be legally enforceable, a financial agreement must meet specific requirements under the Family Law Act 1975. These requirements include that the agreement is in writing, signed by both parties, and each party has obtained independent legal advice before signing. It’s important to note that financial agreements are subject to court scrutiny and may be set aside if they are found to be unfair or not in the best interests of the parties or any children involved.

It is advisable for individuals considering a financial agreement to seek independent legal advice from a family law solicitor who can provide guidance and ensure that the agreement complies with the relevant legal requirements.


Creating an effective plan

Creating an effective financial agreement in NSW, Australia, involves careful consideration and attention to detail. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Seek legal advice: It is essential to consult with a family law solicitor who specializes in financial agreements. They can guide you through the process, explain your rights and obligations, and ensure the agreement meets legal requirements.

  2. Full disclosure of financial information: Both parties must provide full and honest disclosure of their financial circumstances. This includes assets, liabilities, income, and superannuation. Failing to disclose relevant information can render the agreement invalid.

  3. Customize the agreement: Financial agreements should be tailored to the specific circumstances of the parties involved. Consider factors such as the duration of the relationship, financial contributions, future needs, and any unique circumstances that may require special provisions.

  4. Independent legal advice: Each party must obtain independent legal advice from separate solicitors. This ensures that both parties fully understand the terms of the agreement and the implications of signing it. The solicitors will also provide a certificate of independent legal advice, which is necessary for the agreement to be enforceable.

  5. Put it in writing: The financial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It should clearly outline the agreed-upon terms, including how property, assets, debts, and other financial matters will be divided.

  6. Review and update regularly: Over time, circumstances may change, such as the birth of children or significant financial developments. It’s important to review and update the financial agreement periodically to ensure it remains relevant and fair to both parties.

  7. Consider other legal documents: A financial agreement may be complemented by other legal documents such as a will, enduring power of attorney, or advanced healthcare directive. It’s wise to consider these documents in the broader context of your financial and personal affairs.


Remember, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified family law solicitor to ensure your financial agreement is comprehensive, legally enforceable, and meets your specific needs.

Property Division & Disputes

General Information – Property Division & Disputes

As our society ages and multiple marriages and de facto relationships become more common, many individuals seek ways to safeguard their property in the event of a future breakup.

Financial Agreements can be made before, during, or after a marriage or de facto relationship. These agreements are private and require mutual agreement between you and your partner.

Financial agreements cover various aspects, such as property division, including superannuation, financial resources, and maintenance for both parties and children. However, they do not address child custody matters.

The primary advantage of a financial agreement is that it eliminates the need for court involvement, except in rare cases. Upon signing the agreement, it becomes effective, without court delays, costs, or timetables.

The main drawback of a financial agreement is that it lacks an independent third party, typically the Registrar of the Family Court of Australia, to review it, as seen with consent orders filed in the Family Court.

If you decide to enter a financial agreement, it is crucial to fully comprehend its terms and how it will impact your financial situation.

Once the agreement is signed, it becomes binding, and terminating it without the other party’s consent can be challenging. The court may only consider setting aside a financial agreement if it was entered into with careful consideration and consent.

Entering into a financial agreement is a significant decision that necessitates both you and your partner seeking independent legal advice.

For further information on this complex area of family law, please contact us.

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