Despite changes to the law in 2010, intending to make financial agreements binding in the face of technical flaws in their construction, it continues to be a complex and ambiguous area of family law.
Financial agreements were intended to provide certainty in sorting out property and spousal maintenance disputes should a couple separate. But almost 12 years since their introduction, the law relating to making them, enforcing them and setting them aside remains uncertain.
In cases since the 2010 changes, judges have taken different approaches in interpreting whether errors in drawing up agreements can be rectified or if the agreements are no longer binding.
Due to such ambiguity, it may be more prudent to avoid financial agreements altogether and, where possible, obtain court orders instead. Make sure you consult a solicitor when you are entering into any contracts or agreements.
(Reprinted from the Law Society of New South Wales client newsletter “In touch with the law”)