Family Law 101: All You Need To Know About Prenups In Australia

Prenuptial agreements are a critical element of family law. Ideally, these are financial agreements that couples create before they marry. Unfortunately, most couples do not know how or why they should have prenuptial agreements. Below is a comprehensive guide on prenups.  

What Are Prenups? 

In Australia, prenups are binding financial agreements (BFAs) that couples draft before they marry. These contracts detail how the couple intends to divide their marital assets once they separate or divorce. A prenup must be comprehensive and accurate. For instance, the couple must consider any assets or liabilities they have before their marriage. Moreover, the document should establish the need for spousal maintenance. 

What Are The Benefits Of Prenups? 

The primary benefit of prenups is that they significantly ease the divorce process. Typically, couples spend considerable time debating how to divide their assets. It is especially so since each party would want an advantage over the other party. As a result, they spend a significant amount on legal fees as they attempt to "punish" each other. A prenup avoids these inconveniences since it sets the foundation when drafting financial agreements to settle the marriage. 

What happens if you had a business or substantial finances before your marriage? Most people worry that their partner will get a share of their wealth, yet they do not have any shareholding. A prenup is the best way to protect wealth acquired before the union. For instance, you could use the contract to ensure the property goes to specified beneficiaries in case you die in the course of your union. A prenup also protects you from liabilities that your spouse had before your marriage. For example, if they have a car or property loan, the marital assets should not be used to clear these liabilities as you divorce.   

How Do You Create Prenups? 

You will need a family lawyer when drafting your prenup. The primary benefit of these professionals is that they comprehend the standards you must observe when creating the prenup. For instance, you cannot use the document to penalise your spouse for infidelity. Moreover, neither party should coerce the other into signing the document. For example, a spouse could threaten to break the engagement if the other does not sign the agreement. Finally, the family lawyer offers independent legal advice, a requirement that legalises the prenup. 

Your family lawyer also informs you about the implications of the prenup. For instance, what would happen if you invested your time and resources in your spouse's business? What happens if you lose your job and need spousal maintenance after divorce? The best approach would be updating the prenup to suit your financial situation. 

Consult a family lawyer to learn more.