You don’t have to be James and Mariah!

Oh dear! James Packer and Mariah Carey’s breakup with reported talks of about $6 million annual payments and private jets from their prenup agreements raises the question, ‘is this only for the mega rich?’ The answer is no.

A recent article in The Age on the use of prenuptial agreements has stated that there has been an increase in the use of binding financial agreements, including prenuptial agreements in order to protect one’s assets.

These agreements set out how assets will be divided in the event of a relationship breakdown. They can be used by de-facto couples and can be signed either at the beginning of the relationship, during the relationship or after its breakdown.

These agreements allow couples to avoid long waiting lists in the Family Court and the uncertainty about how their assets will divided up by a judge. They are known to be ‘technical’ and not something you can download off the internet and fill out yourself like a will kit. However they are far less costly in comparison to a court battle to divide up assets and will save a considerable amount of time and money in court.

The use of these agreements are reportedly becoming popular amongst the Chinese or young Asian people as they protect the property given to them by their parents, as well as amongst women as they are becoming more ‘self made.’ It is the best solution in circumstances where a person has a lot of money to protect otherwise, there is no other protection.

Under the Family Law Act, in order for these agreements to be legally enforceable, the parties must each receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement. The agreement will be upheld in court unless there exceptional circumstances such as, where one of the parties was under duress or other unconscionable conduct.

If you and your partner are interested in drawing up a binding financial agreement or prenuptial agreement and would like to discuss it further, please do not hesitate to contact Rowan Skinner and Associate Lawyers.

 

Source: Michaela Whitbourn, “The Art of the Prenup” The Age, January 8 2017