Finalising Your Agreement

Agreements dealing with the division of both matrimonial or de facto relationship assets and liabilities can be made either at the beginning of or in contemplation of a relationship, during or at the end of a relationship. Recognised Cohabitations, Separation, and Binding Financial Agreements can be used to protect your assets, determine their distribution and provide for Spousal Maintenance.

The Disadvantages

  • The agreements are complex and drafted for your specific needs no matter how simple or complex your financial circumstances are.
  • Financial Agreements are binding once certain requirements of the Family Law Act are complied with, such as solicitors’ signing Statements of Independent Legal Advice, exchange of those Statements, and both parties having signed the agreement. These agreements are not scrutinised by the Court but both parties must be independently legally represented.

The advantages of a Binding Financial Agreement are that:

  • They are arguably quicker to enter into rather than delays experienced by the Court’s waiting time to review Orders to be made.
  • The agreement might contain clauses which a Court might not otherwise make if it is unusual.

The main disadvantage of a Binding Financial Agreement is the Court has not already scrutinised the Agreement, if issues of enforcement arise, the Agreement must first be declared valid & enforceable and then the term will need to be enforced. This is a costly process.

Consent Orders

Consent Orders are entered into after separation and after reaching agreement in relation to how either your property settlement matters or parenting matters are to be finalised.

The Consent Orders are scrutinised by a Registrar of the Family Court to ensure that the Orders are appropriate in all the circumstances, and if so, then the Orders are made and are binding on the parties.

The main advantage of a Consent Order is the Orders are made by the Court and are easier to enforce if one party defaults in complying with the Orders.

The main disadvantage of a Consent Order is there are often delays between signing off on the Orders by the parties and the Court making the Orders.