Thursday, April 30, 2015
Today I am releasing an exposure draft of proposed legislative amendments to the binding financial agreement provisions of the Family Law Act 1975. The Australian Government is seeking feedback on this exposure draft which aims to address uncertainty in the use of these agreements.
Binding Financial Agreements are out-of-court, private agreements between people that outline how property and other financial matters will be dealt with in the event of the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship. These are colloquially known as pre-nuptial agreements.
The proposed amendments seek to remove existing uncertainties around requirements for entering, interpreting and enforcing agreements. They would also make changes to the coverage of spousal maintenance matters in agreements and introduce a statement of principles to outline their binding nature. The amendments will reinforce that the provisions are intended to offer certainty to parties.
The aim of the proposed amendments is to ensure that prospective, current or former parties to a marriage or de facto relationship can take responsibility for resolving their financial and maintenance matters without involving a court.
I have also released a consultation paper which explains the proposed amendments and raises a couple of other issues that the Australian Government would appreciate stakeholders to provide comment on.
The exposure draft and consultation paper are available on the Attorney-General’s Department website.
30 April 2015