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Family Law - Pre-Nuptial or Co-habitation Agreements

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Family Law - Pre-Nuptial or Co-habitation Agreements Powered By Docstoc
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        <p>We are increasingly being asked to prepare financial
agreements for couples who are about to "take the plunge" or "walk down
the aisle". However, financial agreements are also available for couples
who are living together whether or not they are married, and for couples
who have separated.<br><br>In my experience it is not necessary that
people want lawyers to prepare a financial agreement because they do not
trust their partner.These days, perhaps people are more aware of their
legal rights and responsibilities and therefore would prefer that they
are upfront to one another about their respective financial positions and
the preservation of the same.There are situations where one partner has
been "taken to the cleaners" and therefore would prefer to have an
agreement to preserve their hard earn savings.<br><br>"Pre-nuptial" or
"Cohabitation" agreements are common terms that most people would relate
to. The term that the Courts use is "financial agreement". The law
regarding such agreements is governed by Part VIIIA of the Family Law Act
(Cth) 1975. Unless the Agreement is properly prepared and certain
requirements are met, the Agreement will have little (if any)
value.<br><br>Some of the requirements are:<br><br>&gt;&gt; Both parties
must fully disclose their respective financial positions. This includes
their assets and liabilities;<br><br>&gt;&gt; Each must execute the
Agreement of their own free will;<br><br>&gt;&gt; It is important that
each understands all the terms of the Agreement and their
effect;<br><br>&gt;&gt; Each MUST obtain a lawyer's certificate;
and<br><br>&gt;&gt; Obviously, the Agreement must be in writing. There
goes the saying "a verbal agreement is worth as much as the paper it's
written on".<br><br>There are other factors that may affect the Agreement
and therefore may have consequences that must be considered by the
parties. Some of those factors are:<br><br>&gt;&gt; Are there children of
the relationship?<br><br>&gt;&gt; Has any party been unduly influenced by
the other?<br><br>&gt;&gt; When was the Agreement prepared and
executed?<br><br>&gt;&gt; Apart from getting married, are there other
conditions associated with the Agreement<br><br><br>If the parties are
getting married, it is best to get the Agreement drawn up and executed
some months before the wedding day; a week or two before the "Big Day" is
not advisable. The reason for this cautious approach is to avoid the
argument of unconscionable conduct by one of the parties to the
Agreement. As mentioned above, the parties may also enter into a
cohabitation agreement after marriage.</p>        <!--INFOLINKS_OFF-->
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