The Financial Agreement Family Law Act: Everything You Need to Know
The Financial Agreement Family Law Act (FAFLA) is an important legal instrument that governs issues of property division and financial support in family law matters. This act provides a framework for couples to enter into agreements regarding their financial affairs in the event of a breakdown of their relationship, including marriage, de facto relationships, and same-sex relationships.
Under the FAFLA, couples can enter into two types of financial agreements: Binding Financial Agreements (BFA) and Limited Financial Agreements (LFA). These agreements can be made before, during, or after a relationship has ended. It is important to note that under the FAFLA, financial agreements are legally binding and enforceable by the courts.
A Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) is a document that sets out how property and financial resources will be divided in the event of a separation. It can cover all assets, including real estate, investments, superannuation, and personal property. The agreement can also address issues such as spousal maintenance and the payment of legal fees.
In order for a BFA to be valid, it must meet certain requirements under the FAFLA. These requirements include that the agreement is in writing, signed by both parties, and that each party has received independent legal advice before signing. The advice must also include an explanation of the effect of the agreement on the rights of each party and the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement.
A Limited Financial Agreement (LFA) is similar to a BFA, but it is limited in scope. An LFA can cover issues such as spousal maintenance or property division, but only for a fixed period of time or on certain conditions. For example, an LFA may be entered into by a couple who are in a de facto relationship but do not plan on getting married. They may want to set out their financial arrangements for a fixed period of time, such as five years, or until certain events occur, such as the purchase of a property.
The FAFLA was introduced in 2000 as part of the Family Law Act and has been amended several times since then. The act was designed to provide couples with more flexibility and control over their financial arrangements, while also reducing the need for costly and time-consuming court proceedings.
If you are considering entering into a financial agreement under the FAFLA, it is essential that you seek independent legal advice from a lawyer experienced in family law and financial agreements. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law and can ensure that your agreement meets the requirements of the act.
In conclusion, the Financial Agreement Family Law Act provides a legal framework for couples to enter into financial agreements that govern issues of property division and financial support in the event of a relationship breakdown. Whether you are entering into a Binding Financial Agreement or a Limited Financial Agreement, it is important that you seek independent legal advice to ensure that your agreement meets all the legal requirements and protects your rights and interests.