De Facto

/Qld/Defacto/qdef4.htx Financial agreements


This fact sheet is general information only. If you need a lawyer, try LawMatch™ a free service that matches you with a lawyer who meets your legal needs and preferences.

Do I need one?

You can make a financial agreement:

What types?

The Property Law Act allows for two types of agreement:

Cohabitation agreements

This is an agreement you can make either before the relationship starts or during the relationship.

It deals with issues like the payment of expenses and assets that are brought into the relationship (for instance, whether they will be treated as jointly owned or as owned just by one partner) and what will happen to property if there is a separation.

If you want this agreement to be binding it must be a "recognised agreement" (this is explained at the bottom of this fact sheet).

Separation agreements

This is an agreement that you can make if you think your relationship will end or after it has ended. It can set out what you want to happen in relation to financial issues

If you want this agreement to be binding it must be a "recognised agreement" (this is explained at the bottom of this fact sheet).

What should I include?

There are many different issues that can be included in an agreement. For example:

Do I need a lawyer?

Yes. Because of the complex laws that affect de facto relationships, it's a worthwhile investment. Also, the lawyer will be experienced about the type of issues you should include.

Are these agreements binding?

The law allows you to make either these agreements a "recognised" agreement. To do this, the agreement must be in writing, signed by both partners before a JP or solicitor and contain a statement of "significant" property, financial resources and liabilities.

The advantage of having a "recognised" agreement is that the terms of the agreement will be followed by the courts if one of you apply for a property settlement. The courts can only vary a term of the agreement in cases of "serious injustice" or where the terms of the agreement are impractical.

If the agreement is not "recognised", the courts will still consider the terms of the agreement, but are not bound by the agreement.

What can it do for me?

As we have said, you should obtain legal advice before the agreement is signed. The lawyer will advise you whether it is a good idea to enter into the agreement in your circumstances.

The advantages of agreements is that there is some degree of certainty about the financial aspects of your relationship.

Read this: This fact sheet is intended to be general information about the law in New South Wales. It is not substitute for legal or other professional advice. Lawscape Communications P/L does not accept responsibility for loss to any person, who either acts or does not act because of this fact sheet.

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