Do you need a Contracting Out Agreement?
If you are moving in with your spouse or partner, it is important to consider whether there are any assets either of you would like to protect in the event of a separation.
A prenuptial agreement is essential if you want to ensure your assets are protected from a relationship, even if your assets are owned by a trust or acquired from a previous relationship.
Prenuptial agreements can also protect people who enter into a relationship without any assets. It is therefore equally important, if you are being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, that you obtain adequate legal advice.
The process to properly execute a contracting out agreement requires each spouse or partner to have their own independent lawyer. Whether you are the person seeking to protect your assets or the person being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, we can assist.
If you would like assistance, please contact one of our family lawyers below.
Frequently Asked Questions
"Pre-nuptial" or contracting out agreements have become more popular since changes to the Property (Relationships) Act were made. Under this Act there is a general presumption there will be equal sharing of relationship property once the relationship has been in existence for three years or more as at separation. Under the Property (Relationships) Act the family home, furniture and chattels are relationship property regardless of when they were purchased and by whom. This can have serious financial implications where one party owns the family home prior to the relationship. Many people believe that if they transfer the family home into a Trust during a relationship then this will not be included in the relationship property pool. This is not correct. For a modest cost a contracting out agreement can prevent you from losing many thousands of dollars on separation.
The Property (Relationships) Act specifies that in order for a relationship property agreement to be binding it must be in writing, both parties must sign the agreement after having received independent legal advice and their lawyers must certify the agreement stating that they have advised their client as to the effects and implications of the agreement.
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