When a couple decides to live together and share their lives, they may choose to sign a binding financial agreement de facto, also known as a cohabitation agreement. This legal document outlines the financial obligations and rights of each partner, should their relationship come to an end.
A binding financial agreement de facto can cover a range of issues, including property ownership, division of assets, debts and liabilities, spousal maintenance, and child support. It can be particularly useful for couples who are not legally married or in a registered domestic partnership, as these relationships are not governed by the same laws as traditional marriages.
In order for a binding financial agreement de facto to be legally valid, both partners must enter into it voluntarily, with a full understanding of its terms and consequences. Each partner must also seek independent legal advice before signing, to ensure that their rights and interests are adequately protected.
One of the main benefits of a binding financial agreement de facto is that it allows couples to avoid the uncertainty and expense of going to court to resolve financial disputes. By agreeing on the terms of their separation in advance, they can minimize conflict and stress during an already difficult time.
However, it is important to note that a binding financial agreement de facto is not ironclad, and can be challenged in certain circumstances. For example, if one partner can prove that they were pressured or coerced into signing the agreement, or that its terms are grossly unfair, a court may set it aside.
To ensure that your binding financial agreement de facto is as strong and enforceable as possible, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who is knowledgeable about these types of agreements and can guide you through the process.
In summary, a binding financial agreement de facto can be a valuable tool for couples who want to establish clear financial expectations and protect their assets in the event of a separation. While it is not foolproof, it can provide a measure of certainty and peace of mind during a difficult time.