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Financial Agreements

Binding Financial Agreements

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) deals with protecting the rights of parties who have been married.

The Family Court Act 1997 (WA) deals with protecting the rights of parties who have lived together in a de facto relationship for at least 2 years and have separated after 1 December 2002.

Part VIIIA of the Family Law Act (“the Act”) allows people to make a Binding Financial Agreement (“BFA”) before or during marriage or after separation or divorce.  The primary purpose of a BFA is to “contract out” of the provisions of Part VIII of the Act, and in particular Section 79 and Section 75(2).

Similar Sections apply to de facto relationships in the Family Court Act.

These Sections give the Family Court power to alter the legal interests of a party.  This means that the Court can make a decision about who should have what after a relationship ends, and this may effectively transfer ownership of some property from one party to the other.

By entering into a BFA you are voluntarily contracting out of your right to claim a share of your net assets pursuant to the provisions of the Family Court Act or the Family Law Act.  In doing so you could cause yourself significant disadvantage.

At WA Family Legal, we will help you by:

  • Ensuring that you understand the nature and implications of any Agreement and that you appreciate what alternatives are available to you;
  • Explaining the legislation in context;
  • Comparing what you are getting out of an Agreement now and what you may get from the Family Court in the event of a property settlement at some stage in the future;
  • Drafting an Agreement;
  • Advising whether it is prudent for you to enter into an Agreement; and
  • Advising you in relation to how BFAs can be terminated or varied by Agreement between the parties.

Binding Child Support Agreements

Fundamentally, a Binding Child Support Agreement partially removes the Child Support Agency’s jurisdiction in relation to child support that it ordinarily has under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (“the Act”).  It also limits all child support obligations to be dealt with by the Binding Child Support Agreement.

The Child Support Agency generally makes an assessment of the child support that a parent should pay or receive using a formula approved by the legislation.

At WA Family Legal, we will help you by:

  • Advising you in relation to entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement;
  • Drafting a Binding Child Support Agreement;
  • Advising you in relation to how the Agreement can be set aside; and
  • Advising you in relation to terminating an Agreement.

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