Binding Financial Agreement
If you are intending to enter into a defacto relationship or marriage or are in an existing defacto relationship or marriage and wish to agree about the way in which your property will be divided between yourself and your partner if you were to separate, entering into a Binding Financial Agreement is a way of formalising your agreement and protecting things such as valuable assets or inheritance should the relationship breakdown.
If your relationship does breakdown a Binding Financial Agreement can be used as a way of enabling you to opt out of the Court’s jurisdiction to deal with property and spousal maintenance issues.
Breakdown of a Defacto Relationship
A breakdown of a defacto relationship can be a very stressful and emotional time in your life. A defacto relationship is determined by certain factors including whether there has been a sexual relationship, merging of funds and a recognition of the domestic relationship by others.
Generally speaking if you have been living with your former partner in a domestic relationship for 2 years you are able to make a claim for a property settlement or a claim for spousal maintenance.
However, if you have lived with your former partner in a domestic relationship for less than 2 years you may also be able to apply for a property settlement if:-
– There is a child of your relationship; or
– You have made significant contributions towards the property of your former partner.
If these circumstances do not apply you may still be able to apply to seek a property settlement under the Property Law Act.
Any application to the Court must be made within 2 years of separation.