While most people have heard of a prenuptial agreement (a prenup), many don’t actually know what this entails. In Australia, a prenup is a legally binding contract that is created by two people who are about to get married or who are in a de facto relationship. The agreement is specially created based on the individual’s requests and needs, so no two prenups are the same. There are many reasons why couples choose to go down this route but mostly because both parties want to feel safe within their relationship. It is also common for people to request a legal agreement when one person in the relationship is more well-off than the other person when entering the relationship.
For example, one person may own a lot of property whereas the other person owns none. Others may wish to protect certain possessions that they want to hand down to their children, and others simply want to ensure that if something does go wrong in the future, the process of ending the partnership is as clear cut as possible.
Seeking a family lawyer to help with such an agreement is very important as they are able to not only help with the paperwork itself, but they can give the two parties involved in-depth information about the prenup. For example, many people don’t know that a prenup isn’t the be all and end all. They can be overturned in court down the track. Furthermore, some don’t know what a prenuptial agreement can actually cover. A great family lawyer will advise that it can cover the division of assets when a break-up occurs such as property, cars, cash, and possessions. It can also look at businesses, investments, inheritance, superannuation, debts and pension entitlements. Here is a closer look at prenuptial agreements in Australia, and how a family lawyer is able to help.
What many don’t know is that it is important to factor in children to an agreement, even if there are no children currently in the picture. It is not uncommon for couples who thought they would never have kids to have them later in life, and then not feel protected if the relationship at hand ended. A prenup is able to include child support options, and how the division of assets would occur if there was a child or children in the picture.
Again, a professional attorney is able to help with this and can give advice on what is best to include in the agreement for the couple. It is important to know that despite an agreement, a court is able to overturn this in order to give what they think is best for the child or children involved. It is also important to understand the scenarios in which a prenup can be overturned. For example, if one person did not accurately disclose all of their assets upon entering the relationship and creating the agreement, the courts may see this as fraud and overturn it.
Similarly, if a scenario has occurred that is not included in the agreement (such as the birth of children), again the courts may look at overturning it. It is also crucial to ensure that the agreement is an actual legal document. Couples cannot simply write their wants and wishes on a piece of paper at home and then decide that this is legally binding. Again, this is why it is so imperative to seek the support of a family lawyer. All in all, there is certainly a misconception about how prenuptial agreements work due to American televisions and movies. The best way to get all of the correct information is simply by hiring an attorney.