Prenups For Lovers: Why Prenuptial Agreements Are Actually Romantic - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

Nobody gets married with the thought of getting divorced, so often a prenuptial or financial agreement is seen as unromantic or worse, assuming the relationship will end at some point.

However, another school of thought is that a prenup agreement is just a safeguard, comparable to insurance, nobody plans on having their house burn down, but sometimes unforeseen things do happen to all of us. A prenup is akin to ‘relationship insurance’, if you have it you’re less likely to need it.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, known as a Binding Financial Agreement in the Family Law Act, is a legally binding financial agreement between two parties to a marriage or de facto relationship, that stipulates their financial agreement should the relationship break down.

The Family Court of Australia states;

You can make a financial agreement before, during or after a marriage or de facto relationship. These agreements can cover:

  • financial settlement (including superannuation entitlements) after the breakdown of a marriage or a de facto relationship
  • financial support (maintenance) of one spouse by the other after the breakdown of a marriage or a de facto relationship,
  • any incidental issues.

For a financial agreement to be legally binding, you must both have:

  • signed the agreement, and
  • received independent legal and financial advice before signing.[1]

Why Prenups (Binding Financial Agreement) Are Actually Romantic

1. A prenup forces you to talk openly and honestly about your finances

Recent research shows that Australian couples regularly argue about money, more than other issues in their relationships. This may be contributed to the fact that many couples find it hard to talk about money. Money is often a very personal topic, as well as many couples having very different experiences and different values about money. A Binding Financial Agreement, facilitated by an experienced and sensitive lawyer, can help prepare you for a lifetime of financial health and help you create a strong foundation to discuss finances and save you countless arguments in the future.

Related Article: Relationship Resolutions Couples Should Make For 2019

2. A prenup helps you plan your financial future together

Discussing your future financial goals together helps both parties understand what each other is wanting for the future, be it buying a house, going travelling or having children. Understanding these goals and timelines will undoubtedly reduce stress and dissatisfaction within the relationship later on.

Through this discussion you can opening disclose both parties’ current financial situations, attitudes towards spending and saving as well as working out who or how the household finances will be managed.

As you can see a prenup doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for a couple, it in fact can pave the way to a healthy and happy relationship for couples and their finances.

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

[1] 2016, What are financial agreements?, Family Courts of Australia, viewed 14 March 2018, http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance/if-you-agree-about-property-and-money/

 

At Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers and Mediators our focus is always on the children and finding divorce solutions that keep their welfare front and centre.

Coping with parenting when your children are split between two households and two parents, and in some cases, partners and grandparents, is difficult.  You need patience and a good dollop of kindness and understanding to manage your children.  You also need to have a commitment to consistency between parents.  Setting boundaries and keeping disciplinary measures in place will make life easier for everyone all round, including the children.

Here are some tips that will help you along the way:

  • Try to keep the same rules in place that were followed before the separation. If your kids weren’t allowed to watch television after 6pm don’t suddenly decide that it is OK for them to do that. When kids are feeling like their world is changing, they need to have some sameness in their daily routine.  Maintaining household rules and standards can give them a sense of stability.

 

  •  If you have a less than cordial relationship with your ex try to enlist the help of a 3rd party to discuss discipline for the children.  To have consistency across both homes will be a great help to you both, no matter how hard that is to achieve.

 

  •  No matter how hard it is, for your children’s sake, don’t reverse each other’s decisions.  It will only confuse your children.   And don’t say yes when you had agreed to say no.

 

  •  Most of all – don’t discuss your personal views of the other parent with your child and never try to turn your children against the other parent. Remember, this person is still your child’s father or mother and they deserve the right to have their relationship with them untarnished by your views.  In years to come they will be able to make up their own mind, but for now, hold your tongue. No matter how hurt or angry you are, keep your opinions to yourself and spend some time venting with a close friend, not your children.

 

  •  Living between two houses can be tough.  Try to achieve a routine that kids can feel comfortable with which will help make them feel secure, and help them manage the division of clothes and other personal items at home and school so they never have the added stress of being without something as it’s at ‘the other parents house’.

It can be a difficult and awkward time transitioning to a two-parent lifestyle but a good result can be achieved. Above all keep talking with your children about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.

For more information on how you can separate and divorce with or without court please contact our office  – 9620 0088

 

Am I entitled to spousal maintenance?

by resconflict on April 16, 2019

Am I entitled to spousal maintenance? - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

Under the Family Law Act, a legal or de facto spouse can claim spouse maintenance after separation. The Family Law Act 1975, states a person has a responsibility to financially assist their spouse or former de facto partner, if that person cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their personal income or assets. Note, it is different to child maintenance.

The extent of the support depends on what the other party can afford to pay, and this obligation can continue even after separation and divorce.

The support may be paid periodically or as a lump sum, depending on the circumstances.

Am I entitled to spousal maintenance?

A spouse has the right to maintenance to the extent that the other spouse is able to maintain them, if they are unable to support themselves adequately because of:

a) Having the care and control of a child of the marriage who has not attained the age of 18 years;
b) Age or physical or mental incapacity for appropriate gainful employment; or
c) For any other adequate reason.

How do I apply for spousal maintenance?

It is always best to try and attempt negotiation and resolve disputes regarding spouse maintenance. If no agreement is made your next option is to attend Family Dispute Resolution, which is generally a quicker option than going to court, and less expensive.

If you still are unable to reach a formalised agreement, you can file and application with the court seeking spousal maintenance orders.

Related Article: Duty of Disclosure: “Show and Tell” not “Hide and Seek”

What does the court consider when making a decision?

The court considers the needs of an applicant and the respondent’s capacity to pay. The court considers the following about both of you:

  • your age and health
  • your income, property, and financial resources
  • your ability to work
  • what is a suitable standard of living, and
  • if the marriage has affected your ability to earn an income.

The court also takes into account with whom the children (under 18 years of age or adult children who are disabled) live.

Is there a time limit?

You must apply for a court order:

  • within one year from the date of your annulment
  • within one year from the date your divorce order is final
  • within two years from the date your de facto relationship ended.

You can only apply to the court for maintenance after this time in special circumstances, however this is not always granted.

When does maintenance end?

The right to regular payments of maintenance ends:

  • if the person getting maintenance gets married again, unless there are special circumstances
  • if the person paying maintenance dies.

It may also end if the person getting maintenance improves their financial situation because:

  • they are in a new de facto relationship
  • their responsibility for caring for children changes significantly
  • their earning capacity increases.

Spouse maintenance applications can be complex. When deciding to make and application or defend an application you should seek trusted legal advice.

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

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