In today`s world, it`s become increasingly common for couples to sign a binding financial agreement (BFA) before or during their marriage. Although it may not seem like the most romantic thing to do, having a BFA in place can provide peace of mind and protect both parties in the event of a relationship breakdown.
So, what exactly is a BFA, and how does it work in Queensland?
A BFA is a legal document that sets out how a couple`s assets and liabilities will be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. It can cover property, investments, and any other financial matters that the couple agrees to include. Essentially, it outlines the couple`s financial obligations and rights to one another, both during and after the relationship.
In Queensland, a BFA is governed by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which sets out the requirements for a valid and enforceable agreement. To be considered legally binding, a BFA must be in writing, signed by both parties, and witnessed by a qualified professional (such as a lawyer).
It`s important to note that a BFA can only be made by couples who are either married or in a de facto relationship. For a de facto couple, the BFA must be made after the couple has lived together for at least two years. Additionally, both parties must have received independent legal advice before signing the agreement.
One of the key benefits of a BFA is that it provides certainty and reduces the risk of financial disputes in the event of a separation. It can also save time and money by avoiding the need for a court to determine how assets should be divided.
However, it`s important to remember that a BFA is not foolproof. If a court finds that the agreement is unfair or was entered into under duress, it may not be enforceable. This is why it`s crucial to seek independent legal advice before signing a BFA, to ensure that it reflects the couple`s wishes and is likely to be upheld if challenged.
Overall, a BFA can be a valuable tool for couples who want to protect their assets and avoid unnecessary stress in the event of a break-up. If you`re considering a BFA, be sure to seek advice from an experienced family lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you negotiate the best possible terms.