On 31 December 2012 news broke that Grant Hackett was suing his lawyer as a result of a faulty Binding Financial Agreement. This Agreement was entered into prior to his marriage to Candice Alley. This sort of Agreement is known in America as a “Pre-nup”. Although the Agreement entered into by Grant Hackett was one prior to marriage, Binding Financial Agreements also can be entered into during marriage, after separation, or after divorce. While the news reports are silent on exactly what the defect was in the Binding Financial Agreement, it was reported that it did not comply with legislative requirements.
Binding Financial Agreements are Agreements provided for under the Family Law Act. The purpose is to oust the jurisdiction of the Family Court by allowing the parties to enter into a private contract that does not require the Court’s approval. This also means that parties do not enjoy the Court’s protection. To protect parties who enter into Binding Financial Agreements without the Court’s protection, the Family Law legislation sets up very specific requirements for what a Binding Financial Agreement must contain.
The validity of a Binding Financial Agreement can be challenged in a Family Court. If you enter into one of these Agreements, you must be sure that you are obtaining the right advice so that you are not wasting your time and money in entering into an Agreement that will not hold up against a challenge. Where the purpose of the legislation was to allow parties to enter into private contracts, the Family Court is becoming more creative in finding ways that an Agreement has not complied with legislation, so that the Court may step in and protect a party that has entered into an unfair Agreement.
Given the strict requirements of what a Binding Financial Agreement must contain, and a Court’s approach to these Agreements, it is imperative that you obtain the right advice.
Armstrong Legal are family law experts. We know what a Binding Financial Agreement must contain. We know where the likely pitfalls are to be found. We know how best to protect you against a challenge to your Binding Financial Agreement.
Contact Armstrong Legal if you intend to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement and obtain the right advice.