Financial agreements deal with how a couple’s property and resources are to be divided if they separate. People enter into financial agreements because they want to have certainty of the financial outcome if they separate, or agree to an outcome it is unlikely a Family Court would order. We also use financial agreements when our clients agree to hold assets, liabilities or resources together with their former partner over a period of time following their separation or divorce.
For a financial agreement to be binding, each party to the agreement must have legal advice and the solicitor must sign a certificate of independent legal advice. It is not possible for one solicitor to act for more than one party to a financial agreement. To satisfy this requirement, the solicitor must review or prepare the agreement, take detailed instructions from their client about the financial circumstances and other legal matters that are relevant to understanding the potential outcome in a separation, and provide advice to the client, prior to signing the certificate. This process can take several weeks.
We are able to prepare financial agreements as well as reviewing them for the purposes of issuing certificates. As we want to be sure our clients aren’t under pressure to enter into pre-marriage financial agreements, we need 3 months’ notice of the wedding date.