Am I obliged to finalise property and financial matters between me and my ex on separation?
No, the Family Law Act 1975 (‘the Act’) does not place an obligation on you or your ex to formalise property and financial matters on separation. However, you must. Until you reach agreement on property and financial matters with your former partner and formalise it by way of a Binding Financial Agreement or ‘BFA’ or orders of the Court, because until such time as you do, you are exposed to a claim by your former partner seeking a split of assets, which would have appreciated in value following separation.
Is a Binding Financial Agreement enforceable?
A BFA is a legally enforceable agreement between you and your ex which documents an agreement between you and your ex regarding property and financial matters.
However in order for it to be binding and hence enforceable, the BFA has to be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Act and both parties must be legally represented by independent solicitors when signing the BFA.
When should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement?
You can enter into a BFA before, during and after a relationship. Depending on the timing of when the BFA is entered into, will determine the nature of the Agreement and which principles of the Act will apply. However, if you have already divorced, you must finalise financial and property matters within 12 months of the date of the divorce.
Can I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement to formalise parenting arrangements?
The answer is unfortunately, no. BFA’s are intended to formalise agreements relating to property and financial matters. Consent Orders are used to formalise agreements between parties as to the residence, time spending, day to day and long term care and welfare of children of a relationship. However a BFA can be entered into to formalise child support agreements between parties who prefer a private child support agreement over the Child Support Agency assessing and collecting child support.
Where can I get more information about BFA’s, the law and my rights and entitlements?
Costanzo Lawyers offers all new Family Law clients a FREE consultation during which a member of our Family Law team will be able to answer all your questions. Your matter will be dealt with expertly and in a manner so as to minimize legal costs, time and stress associated with separation.