Formalising Property Matters
If you and your ex-partner have been able to reach an agreement about your property matter without the involvement of lawyers, the next step is to formalise your agreement.
That’s where our experienced Family Lawyers can help.
There are two (2) ways you can formalise your property matter and obtaining expert independent advice as to which is more suited to your circumstances is essential.
1. Consent Orders
Consent Orders are agreed to between you and your ex, filed with the Court and if the Registrar considers that the Orders represent a ‘just and equitable’ outcome, the Orders will be made and they will have the same effect and enforceability as if a Judge had presided over your matter and made a final decision.
2. Binding Financial Agreement (BFA)
The second way is to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement, or ‘BFA’. A BFA is effectively a contract which sets out your property agreement and ousts the jurisdiction of the Family Court.
If you choose to enter into a BFA, there is an obligation that both you and your ex-partner obtain independent legal advice.
There have been a number of cases in the last couple of years in which BFA’s have been set aside, or overturned, because one of the parties has obtained inadequate legal advice. If a BFA is set aside by the Court, the Court then re-gains the ability to determine your Family Law property matter and could mean that you end up with a completely different outcome than the one that you agreed to.
The advice you receive must provide a proper explanation of the BFA in its entirety and must set out the advantages and disadvantages to you entering into the BFA. As noted in a recent case setting aside a BFA “it is inconceivable, that within the 30 minutes […] there was anything approaching fulsome advice given, or even a proper explanation of the BFA itself”.
Whether Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement is best for your circumstances, engaging an experienced Family Lawyer to formalise your agreement will ensure you achieve the agreed outcome.