Couples living together deserve the security of a mutually agreed contract in writing, for their own protection. This contract is referred to as a Cohabitation or more accurately a Financial Agreement (see below on changes to Family Law Act)
The temptation to avoid discussing topics such as breaking up and death is understandable.
However it is a sure sign of the strength and determination of your relationship when you can discuss the practical and unromantic aspects of your relationship openly and honestly.
Your Cohabitation agreement becomes a legal expression of your intent as de facto partners – you can define how you intend to divide your assets and maintain any children you may have.
It is intended to serve as a safety net should you find yourself in the position of having to dismantle a relationship.
What does this mean for you?
Should you ever separate, you can refer to your Financial Agreement and save yourself the stress, heartache and cost of settling property or maintenance matters within the Court system.
Drafting a Financial Agreement together whilst the relationship is strong is more likely to ensure a fairer outcome for both parties and allows you to avoid unnecessary bickering later on.
A Financial Agreement makes the painful process of separation less traumatic.
Recent changes to The Family Law in Australia have switched the regulation of relationships from the individual states, excluding Western Australia, to the Commonwealth.
This means that defacto relationships, both hetero and same sex now rest under the protective umbrella of the Family Law Act (Act).
Terminology has changed too – Cohabitation Agreements are now called Financial Agreements and are classified under particular sections of the Act.
Same sex couple should click here for specific information.
|If you live in –
|If you live in Western Australia –|
|Western Australia||In Western Australia agreements are still called Financial Agreements except they are made pursuant to sect 205ZN of the Family Court Act 1997 click here for more.|
These comprehensive Financial (Cohabitation) Agreement Kits have been drafted to comply with the relevent federal or state legislation. They give you all the guidance you need to create a legally binding, protective cohabitation agreement.
Your financial agreement kit includes a comprehensive manual that explains the law as it applies to this agreement. It will show you in simple terms how to thoroughly cover important legal requirements, and how to complete your agreement in detail. In addition, it contains alternative legal clauses and provisions you can use to personalise your agreement.
Important note: The Family Law Act requires each party to receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement. This prevents either party from arguing that, when signing the agreement, they did not understand what they were agreeing to.
Our financial agreement review service is available as an option with this agreement.
When to use these agreement
Cohabitation Agreements are agreements made between people who are living together or intending to live together but not intending to get married.
Couples intending to get married should define their relationship with a Prenuptial Agreement under section 90B of the act.