How Valid Are Prenuptial Agreements in Australia?
Prenuptial agreements are a completely valid way of cementing an agreement between two parties ahead of their marriage.
When it comes to creating a legally binding agreement between two parties ahead of their marriage, prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.
But how valid are they? At Justice Family Lawyers, we have years of experience in family law and we’re here to help untangle the legality of pre-nuptial agreements in Australia.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Simply put, a prenuptial agreement (or a prenup, as they’re often called) is an agreement agreed upon by intending parties prior to their marital union, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of each person in the event of a separation or divorce.
Prenups detail arrangements regarding property, finances, and superannuation post-separation.
Concerned about How Valid Are Prenuptial Agreements in Australia?
For a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid, there are some steps that must be taken beforehand.
- Both parties must seek independent legal advice before the agreement is signed, to ensure the contents of the document are fair and reasonable.
- Both parties must also provide full and honest disclosure of their respective financial positions.
- Finally, the agreement must be drawn up in a way that all involved parties have read and understood the contents.
Section 90G of the Family Law Act governs what provisions are required to be fulfilled in order to have a prenuptial agreement valid.
When Are Prenuptial Agreements Effective?
For a prenuptial agreement to be effective, you need to understand how your finances will look in the future.
This can be a tricky situation, and it is best practice to update your prenup whenever there is a significant change in circumstances in your relationship.
For example, if you have children or if there is a dramatic change in your health or financial circumstances.
This agreement must also be entered into in good faith with both parties understanding the contents and circumstances in which the agreement was made.
This means that agreements that are obtained through undue pressure, fraud, or by hiding or misrepresenting assets or information could be rendered invalid.
What are the Potential Pitfalls of Prenuptial Agreements in Australia?
When entering into a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to consider both the potential benefits and potential pitfalls to avoid any unforeseen issues in the future.
The biggest potential pitfalls of a prenuptial agreement can be summarised as follows:
- The agreement may be void if one or both parties enter the agreement under pressure or false information has been provided;
- The agreement may be void if there has been an absence of disclosure of assets or income;
- It is possible for a prenuptial agreement to be challenged for failure to provide reasonable financial arrangements for a party that has children; or
- The agreement may be subject to change if there are subsequent children or a major change in either party’s circumstances.
Making Sure Your Prenuptial Agreement is Valid
At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the importance of entering into a valid prenuptial agreement.
We have a team of experienced family lawyers who are on hand to help with your prenuptial agreement.
No matter what stage in the prenuptial agreement process you are in, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. We’re here to change the way Australians seek legal help, so if you’re wondering how valid are prenuptial agreements in Australia, our team of experienced family lawyers can provide you with the support and tailored advice you need.
Principal of Justice Family Lawyers, Hayder specialises in complex parenting and property family law matters. He is based in Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Communications from UTS.