Binding Financial Agreement: more Aussies are wanting prenups

More and more Australians are signing prenuptial agreements before walking down the aisle, with one family law firm reporting a 79 per cent increase in inquiries in the last year alone.

Prenuptial agreements, better known in Australia as a binding financial agreement (BFA), are generally used by those with significant wealth or a large inheritance.

Over the decades, it has been associated with a negative stigma as it was seen as a lack of trust in partners if they were asked to.

However Australian lawyers have noted a substantial increase in people applying for BFA, following a spike in divorce applications during the Covid pandemic.

What seems to drive this desire for BFA before and even during marriage is due to the economic context.

Speaking on Channel 10’s The Project on Wednesday, family lawyer Kasey Fox said high interest rates and rising costs of living were driving more people to seek protection for their wealth, assets and the “bank of mom and dad”.

“People are worried about things like inheritances,” Ms. Fox, of law firm Farrar Gesini Dunn, told the program hosts.

“So if they know that their family has a little more wealth on their side, they want to make sure that the inheritance will be theirs and their partner won’t be able to make any claims on it.”

Fox also said that couples with children from a previous marriage think about their children when they enter a new marriage.

“For example, (couples) have children from a previous relationship. And they might mean, ‘Well, I want to make sure that the house that I had at the beginning of this relationship is protected, so I can leave it to my children in the future,'” she said.

“We focus on what is a fair division.

“So generally something like, ‘What you have is yours and what I keep is mine.’ And everything we put together we share together.

Co-host Myf Warhurst reminded the panel that “marriage has always been a contract.”

“Since the beginning of time it has essentially been an exchange of goods and merchandise. That’s the deal,” she said.

“Someone makes money and someone takes care of it. So I think it’s probably rational to have a prenuptial agreement.

This sound financial advice resonated with many Australians, who expressed their agreement.

“I think it would give more clarity on who is going to get what from the deal,” one woman said.

However, despite the increase in prenuptial inquiries, the negative stigma attached to it is still strong.

“If you can’t trust that person, then don’t get married,” one man said

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