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Modern Families and Cohabitation Agreements

Our concept of the family unit is fast moving away from the more traditional concept of a family (mum + dad + 2.4 kids) in favour of a more dynamic and complex structure.

Modern family structures include:-

  • single dad or mum households,
  • traditional married couples with children,
  • de facto couples,
  • gay couples,
  • adoptive households,
  • step-families,
  • blended families and
  • multi-generational families.

These unique expressions of the family unit are now more socially accepted than ever before. 

Suitable frameworks and resources are needed by couples of these more complex relationships in order to meet their unique needs.

Family law in Australia evolved in leaps and bounds to recognise this need and provides the practical legal framework to support them.

One of the tools couples now have is the Financial Agreement

When people live in the same household, there is generally some type of agreement they are operating by, whether it is informal, verbal or written. 

Where finances are not discussed at all, this may eventually lead to contention in the relationship.

Financial Agreements (FA) are designed to be used by couples to set out their agreement in relation to the finances of the relationship, in a way that is legally binding.  These agreements prompt couples to think through financial issues in a pro-active way.  This can give couples a certainty and a mutual understanding on which they can confidently base their growing relationship.

Financial Agreements can address many issues, including:-

  • how the assets and liabilities accumulated by the partners separately prior to the relationship are be dealt with;
  • the management of those assets
  • how jointly acquired assets will be dealt with and managed; and
  • how individual and jointly owned property will divided should the relationship break down.

A common use of a Financial Agreement is to quarantine assets accumulated prior to the relationship to provide for existing children.

Financial Agreements allow couples to take control their finances and make their own decisions and choices about how they will be managed. 

The Family Law Act makes Financial Agreements accessible to all couples, to promote private agreement and certainty, thereby minimising any disputes or misunderstanding that may arise in the future.

Want to know more?

For further information about Financial Agreements and which one is suitable for you, see here.

Parenting Agreements

Child Support Agreements

Superannuation Agreements

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