You may have been married or been in a de facto or same sex relationship before and have recently established a new relationship. You may have property or children from your previous relationship.
You may be getting married for the first time but have complex financial affairs or seen others close to you go through a stressful and financially paralysing separation.
Whatever your situation, you probably appreciate the trauma that many experience when relationships breakdown and want to avoid any future potential conflict.
Many couples are cautious in their future planning and now prepare for the unplanned event of a future separation by drawing up a financial agreement, or what is commonly known as a ‘prenuptial agreement’. These agreements can prevent stress from an unwanted outcome as well as high legal costs should you separate in the future.
With knowledge of the law and the practical know-how to apply it, your Jones Mitchell family lawyer will provide you with clear and accurate advice to ensure your financial agreement provides you with security and protects your interests for the future.
Case study – Catherine, 38, is moving in with her new partner
Catherine is a property lawyer. She is divorced with two young children, aged seven and eight. In the last year, she’s met a new partner Michael and has made the exciting decision to move in with him. With memories of an emotionally draining and long and costly separation from her first husband, Catherine wants to avoid this situation occurring again should something go wrong. Michael too has a similar background, but does not have any children.
Both Catherine and Michael very much want to learn from their previous experiences and want their relationship to work. But they both have significant assets which they want to protect. They are also nervous about the very clinical nature of getting a financial agreement or a ‘pre nuptial agreement’ drawn up and don’t want discussions of splitting assets this early to damage their relationship.
Catherine went to see a family lawyer at Jones Mitchell as her firm regularly refers to them. She already understood that Jones Mitchell can only work with one party – in this case Catherine – but hoped they would be able to draw up an agreement that both she and Michael agreed.
After explaining their financial situation and answering many questions about her and Michael’s plans should they separate, Catherine felt reassured that Jones Mitchell was approaching their agreement with great sensitivity and understanding. They were able to explore with Catherine many different scenarios and how they might impact on their financial agreement. What if they buy a house together? What happens if she sells her house, which she currently owns outright? What about the inheritance she is likely to get when her father passes away?
After several discussions gathering relevant information to fine tune the individual agreement, Jones Mitchell was able to draw up a draft financial agreement for Catherine and Michael to consider. Once they were both happy, Michael took this agreement to an independent lawyer to ensure he fully understood what the agreement meant for him.
With marriage on the cards, both Catherine and Michael were pleased at how secure this whole process had made them feel. They felt that Jones Mitchell’s professional approach and understanding of the sensitivities contributed greatly to their more secure future.
If you are beginning a new relationship and would like more information, visit our FAQs or contact us to speak with one of our experienced Jones Mitchell family lawyers.
Please note: Although this case study is based on a potentially real situation, it is hypothetical and is for illustrative purposes only. Every family law situation is unique. Consequently, our family law advice is tailored to each situation and individual outcomes will vary.