Financial Agreement During De Facto Relationship

Financial agreements can be made during different times of a relationship or marriage. Part VIIIA of The Family Law Act 1975 (“the Act”) makes the following provision for financial agreements in relation to married people:

  • Section 90B financial agreements made before marriage; or
  • Section 90C financial agreements made during a marriage; or
  • Section 90D financial agreements made after divorce order is made.

Part VIIIAB of the Act makes the following provision for financial agreements in relation to de facto relationships as follows:

  • Section 90UB financial agreement made before a de facto relationship; or
  • Section 90UC financial agreements made during a de facto relationship; or
  • Section 90UD financial agreements after the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

Financial Agreements made during a de-facto relationship are entered into between de-facto partners who wish to set out how their assets or financial resources will be divided at the time of the making of the agreement or in the event of the breakdown of their relationship. They can also deal with the issue of spousal maintenance. However, if spousal maintenance is not dealt with by the agreement then it can be decided separately at the end of the relationship regardless of the existence of the financial agreement.

Section 90UJ of the Act provides that financial agreements made under Part VIIIAB are binding if and only if:

  • The agreement is signed by all parties; and
  • Before signing the agreement, each party to the agreement received independent legal advice in relation to effects of the agreement on their rights and the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement on their rights; and
  • Either before or after the making of the agreement, each party is provided a signed statement by their legal practitioner stating that the advice was given; and
  • A copy of the statement provided to the party referred to above is also provided to the other party; and
  • The agreement has not been terminated or set aside by a court.

There are strict requirements for financial agreements to be binding. If any of the above requirements are not met, the court can set the agreement aside and not enforce it. If de facto partners who have a financial agreements get married to each other, the financial agreement becomes void. The parties are then required to enter into another financial agreement under section 90C of the Act.

If you require assistance in relation to a financial agreement, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers who are experienced in financial agreements and other aspects of the Family Law Act.


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