Binding Financial Agreements

Fixed Price Prenuptial ('Prenups') and Binding Financial Agreements ('BFAs')

Binding Financial Agreements are a contract between a person and their partner setting out their agreement for financial separation in the event of a breakdown of their marriage or de facto relationship.  We prepare 'Prenups' or BFA's which will finalize a financial separation and divorce orders and will finalize the marriage or de facto relationship.  BFA's and fixed fee divorce orders can be done at the same time in WA by experienced Perth family and divorce lawyers.

We offer fixed fees for Binding Financial Agreements.  Our fixed fees including advice and a certificate for preparation of a Binding Financial Agreement are from $2,400.00 exc GST.  Our fixed fees for reviewing a Binding Financial Agreement already prepared including a certificate of advice are from $1,500.00 exc GST.

Our rates and fixed prices are lower than the prices charged by many Perth Commercial law firms because we own our offices so we don't pay the exorbitant St George's Tce rent that many commercial law firms do.  

Property settlement is the division of assets, liabilities and financial resources in the case of a divorce or separation.  This can be done either mutually by agreement, or through a judicial decision in the Family Court of Western Australia.  For more detailed information see Property Settlements.

Forensic Financial Investigation

Due diligence must be carried out before deciding on what is the best financial settlement for you.  In some cases it may be necessary to carry out a forensic financial investigation to ascertain the true financial status of your partner whether that be money in the bank, assets or holdings in companies. 

There are many ways to divert funds in a relationship such as moving money around different bank accounts, buying assets and putting them in someone else’s name or requesting an employer split wages between separate accounts. 

We can also carry out searches online to ascertain what your partner is a shareholder in or a director of. 

It is also possible for us to request information on income and assets and presumably your partner will also have a lawyer that will understand that the information will have to be provided.  If necessary however, court orders can be obtained to require spouses to reveal details about their finances. 

Sometimes it may be necessary to retain an independent forensic accountant.

When should I consider a Binding Financial Agreement? 

A BFA can be entered into before, during or after a marriage or de-facto relationship.  They may cover:

* Division of property, finances, and debts;

* Superannuation;

* Spousal Maintenance.

Our services include (if necessary) access to the various range of experts necessary to advise in respect of a resolution of financial issues including access to land valuers, business valuers, accountants and other professionals as required.

Where an agreement for property division has been reached we can advise you on the most appropriate and cost effective way to formalize your agreement.  This may be through consent orders in the Family Court of Western Australia or with a financial agreement.

What are the benefits of a Binding Financial Agreement?

BFA's can be a useful tool to:

* Protect significant wealth;

* Safeguard potential inherited wealth;

* Protect family companies; and

* Provide financial certainty in the event of separation.

There are lots of matters to take into account when negotiating  property settlement and we can provide you with advice on your entitlements.

You should take legal advice from the best fixed price Perth and Fremantle divorce lawyers, experienced in drafting and reviewing prenuptial Binding Financial Agreements and Property Settlements for a fixed price.  We also offer very competitive fixed fees for legal advice on a BFA prepared by your spouse's family lawyer. 

BFAs are often mistakenly referred to in Australia, as a pre-nuptial agreement or a prenup, which is an American concept.  A prenup is made before the parties are married.

There is no concept of prenuptial agreements, prenup agreements or prenups in Western Australia.  The acts deliberately do not make any reference to the phrase pre-nuptial to draw the distinction that BFAs are a completely difference concept.

Many people in Western Australia however still refer to BFAs as pre-nuptial agreements.

Contrary to popular belief a pre-nuptial agreement does not have to be entered into prior to marriage.  The Family Law Act 1975 and the Family Court Act 1997 (WA) allows for couples in Perth and Australia to legally enter into a Binding Financial Agreement either before, during or after a marriage and by de facto couples where there is no marriage at all.

Part V111A of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) is where you will find the legislative provisions for BFAs for married couples, Part 5A Division 3 of the Family Court Act 1997 (WA) for de facto couples in Western Australia and Part  V111AB Division 4 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) for de facto couples in other States and Territories.

For good reason BFAs can not be entered into quickly or as a last minute decision.  Usually you will want divorce orders to be made in the Family Court at the same time.

WHY LAWYERS ARE NEEDED

  1. To enter into a valid Binding Financial Agreement in WA parties will need the involvement of 2 experienced and independent family lawyers.  Drafting a BFA that will withstand future challenge is a complicated task and the lawyers must have an extensive knowledge of all the technical requirements.
  2. There have been a number of cases that show the problems that can arise if BFAs are not properly prepared.
  3. Once the terms of the BFA are agreed and drafted into the correct form each party must obtain independent legal advice.  Both parties must receive independent legal advice about the effect of the BFA on their rights and the advantages and disadvantages of entering the BFA.
  4. If either party breaches a term of a BFA then the other party can apply to the courts to enforce the BFA.  The court can assist to enforce the terms of the financial agreement as if they were orders of the court.

 Because our offices are not located in the Perth CBD but in Fremantle our rates are substantially lower than most Perth Family Lawyers.

promo-footer.jpg