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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: Do You Really Need One

Prenups, also known as ‘binding financial settlements’, were made enforceable in Australia for the first time in 2000, with the passage of the Family Law Amendment Act. Prenuptial agreements or pre-marital contracts, or simply ‘prenups’, are legal documents that couples may sign before they marry. A prenup’s goal is to establish how the couple’s assets will be divided if they divorce.

A postnup is similar but entered into after the couple is already married. When the couple decides on a prenup or postnup, they’ll work with a family lawyer to negotiate and draft an agreement. Once both parties have signed the document, it’s binding in Australia.

Whilst prenups are not required by law in Australia, more and more couples are choosing to enter into them to protect their interests in the event of a divorce. Prenups or postnups can be a perfect idea for couples with significant assets or who have been married.

Moreover, it can save a lot of time, money and stress if the couple decides to divorce. That’s because the terms of the agreement will already have been agreed upon, and the couple will not have to go through the lengthy and costly process of dividing their assets in court.

If you’re considering entering into a prenup or postnup agreement, it’s essential to understand the family law process. Getting an expert like Madison Marcus will help you avoid future misunderstandings. Your prenuptial agreement is fair and binding. You can also ensure your assets are protected in the event of divorce.

Do Common People Need a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy. Any couple who owns a property, has children from a previous relationship or expects to receive an inheritance or other financial windfall can benefit from a prenup.

A prenup is ratified in Australian law, so it gives equal treatment to both men and women and protects the rights of each spouse in case of divorce. The good thing about a prenup is that it covers not only property settlement but also spousal support, as well as any debts incurred during the marriage.

So how does it work? The parties to a prenuptial agreement must be informed separately of each other. That is, they must be represented by separate lawyers and given legal advice outlining the benefits and drawbacks and the impact of the prenup before it is signed.

Do I Need a Prenup in a De facto Relationship?

Changes to the Family Law Act have allowed de facto couples to create financial agreements. This applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

Couples in a de facto relationship can now make financial agreements about their property and spousal maintenance in the same way married couples can. This means that de facto couples have more control over their finances and can protect their interests if the relationship breaks down.

De facto couples can make three types of financial agreements:

1. Before they live together

2. During their relationship

3. After they break up

By isolating those assets, each party may leave the relationship, if circumstances change, with the property they brought in. Putting your contract in writing puts an end to nagging doubts and ‘what if’ questions.

Is a Prenup Worth it?

Pre-nuptial agreements in Australia are a big decision that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to consult with a lawyer to understand the implications of signing a prenup and making sure it’s the right decision for you.

A prenup, like any other type of insurance, is intended to protect your assets in the case of a divorce. A prenup protects your money in ways that might save you a lot of aggravation in the future, and experts agree it’s an essential investment in a relationship.

Here are ways a prenup is worth having:

  • You may prepare a prenup that only covers your pre-marriage assets and excludes your spouse from claiming them.
  • If you expect to receive a considerable inheritance in the future, you may prepare a prenup that bans your spouse from collecting any of your assets.
  • You may also create a prenup for particular assets/properties you wish to safeguard.
  • You may make a prenup and change it as needed (such as the birth of a kid). Financial agreements can be established during the marriage and updated or replaced at any time to ensure that you always have a valid deal that reflects your current conditions.

The foundations of the Family Law Act were devised to assist with ‘fair’ financial settlement outcomes after a marriage/relationship breaks down. Those principles consider such topics as who should receive what, including how much time each parent spends at home and raising children and other vital issues (income, health, earning potential).

How Madison Marcus Can Help You

A prenup or postnup agreement can address a range of concerns relating to real property and inheritance rights, spousal support, maintenance and child support payments and other financial matters.

Suppose you are considering entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In that case, it is essential to seek legal advice to ensure that the deal is fair and reasonable and will be upheld by the court if challenged.Madison Marcus can assist you with drafting and negotiating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and advise you on the best way to protect your interests. For all enquiries or a free 15-minute consultation,contact us here.

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