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When entering into a relationship or marriage it can be a time when you feel vulnerable about your financial future, particularly if you have worked hard during your lifetime to accumulate assets. If you are entering into a de facto relationship or marriage, and have assets, it may be appropriate to consider entering into a formal agreement with your partner which details how the financial matters between you and your partner will be resolved in the event of a separation.

You may find the idea of entering into a formal agreement about what happens if you separate daunting and uncomfortable, however, entering into a formal agreement is not about dooming the success of your relationship, it is about preserving your financial future. To alleviate the discomfort and sensitivity of entering into a formal agreement, it is important for you to have an open and honest discussion with your partner about your wish to protect your assets; you may find that your partner may also want to protect their assets. 


A formal agreement is commonly referred to as a "financial agreements", “binding financial agreement” or “Pre-Nuptial Agreement”. A financial agreement can be entered into prior to or during a de facto relationship, same-sex relationship or marriage. 

The types of issues that can be covered by a financial agreement include:

  • What happens to the assets held by you at the time you entered the relationship or marriage?
  • What happens to the assets you acquire in your name during the relationship or marriage?
  • What happens to the assets you acquire together during the relationship? 
  • How the expenses and maintenance of each party's assets will be paid?
  • How the living expenses will be paid during the relationship?
  • Whether spousal maintenance will be paid to one of the parties in the event of a separation?

A financial agreement is a very serious legal document and requires the care, consideration and expertise of an experienced family lawyer to prepare the financial agreement to ensure that the agreement appropriately protects and preserves your assets in the event of a separation. The expertise that the msl  family lawyers can provide to you in relation to financial agreements is invaluable, particularly when you want to secure your financial future.

Our expert family lawyers can advise you on what benefits and protection a financial agreement could offer you and are also able to provide advices on any financial agreement being proposed by your partner.