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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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