Necessity of Pre-nuptial Agreements within Australia
Legislation recognising pre-nuptial agreements has been well overdue and this recognition will significantly improve the social and economic impact of divorce.
Pre-nuptial agreements, however controversial, are nothing more than a commonsense idea which not only eases the burden that the financial division of divorce has of the courts, but makes the whole divorce proceedings emotionally and financially easier for everyone involved. Something as simple as a contract which states the financial situation of each party before marriage is not "giving up before you've even started", but an effective marriage contract which allows the partners to discuss their financial situation in a committing, fair and stable environment.
Since the 27th December 2000, pre-nuptial agreements have been legally binding by official legislation within Australia as an effective way to reduce post-marital disputes. (Queensland Broker Feb.2001) Pre-nuptial agreements are basically a financial agreement which are made before marriage. It can be signed by anyone who requires a different property division than that set out by the Family Law Act, and it conveniently deals with difficult issues such as the financial situation of each party before marriage, including share of property and debts and obligations of each party before marraige. It outlines possible future investments and what is to happen to them, such as subsequently discovered property, planned business division, and spousal maintainenece. For a pre-nuptial agreement to be valid, supporting documentation on each pre-nuptial term is required.
Most importantly, it endeavours to do so in a way which is justly equal and fair to both parties, taking not only the financial situation of each party, but the effort each party is putting into the marriage- explain for example, who is raising the children and looking after the home. It also deals with, to a small extent , the extra finance given to whoever would have custody of the children post-divorce, though this is mostly in the hands of the divorce courts. (www.pre-nuptialagreements.com.au) All of these factors can only help the social and economic impact of divorce, as it is making it easier for everyone involved.
Before December 2000, pre-nuptial agreements were not held legally binding by legal courts - couples could form their own agreement before marriage but the courts did not have to stick by them. This created a problem within the marriage where certain circumstances called for the division of property to be different from that as stated by the Family Law Act. Some of these special circumstances might include if you want to keep premarital assets seperate, if you are blending families (both partners already have children), you want to ensure that the family wealth stays within the family, or if you simply just want certainty as to property rights and maintenance payments upon a...