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Financial Agreements – what’s the position now

 

The long awaited decision in Thorne & Kennedy has today been delivered by the High Court.

Background

The case concerned Ms Thorne an Eastern European woman living in the Middle East who, at 36 met Mr Kennedy, 67, online. Mr Kennedy was estimated to have personal wealth of between $18 million and $24 million.

They embarked on a relationship, with Ms Thorne moving to Australia to marry Mr Kennedy having been told that she would “have to sign paper”. Ms Thorne bought no assets with her.

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1501 Hits

Why bother with a Financial Agreement?

Picture this…. you’re invited to speak on a local radio station about nuptial agreements following a recent government paper seeking to establish the key principals of such agreements for, not only the legal profession, but also the public. This is your first radio interview and so, you spend the evening ensuring you are familiar with the paper and the proposed plans. You’re introduced to the audience, and during that introduction the presenter summarises almost everything you read the night before. His first question to you…..”these agreements….you’re married….do you have one?”.

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1718 Hits

Will your son/daughter in-law take your family legacy?

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the concept of pre-nups, with American celebrity culture it is all too common to hear about a couple splitting up and Popstar X being crazy for not having one, or about how B-list actor Y is applying to a Court to overturn the pre-nup.

In Australia our Family Law Act allows for parties to enter into their own private agreements about asset division if a marriage or relationship ends, called Financial Agreements. Couples can enter into these Agreements before marrying or entering into a de facto relationship, during the marriage or relationship and even once it has come to an end. So pre-nups, post-nups and just plain nups perhaps?

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3204 Hits

The To Do's Before the I Do's

THE TO DO’S BEFORE THE I DO’S

Marriage is about more than just the loving union of two people—it’s also about the union of financial assets and liabilities, and families. Or, as some like to say, it’s about halving your rights and doubling your duties.

There are good reasons why you should consider signing a Financial Agreement before you marry or commit yourself to a de-facto relationship. However, not everyone needs a Financial Agreement. Quite apart from the legal issues (which you can discuss with a solicitor), the answer to this question will depend on a number of practical considerations, as follows:

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4631 Hits

To BFA or not to BFA

TO BFA OR NOT TO BFA, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Brynne and Geoffrey Edelsten. Another expensive relationship and undoubtedly, another expensive divorce. It may interest you to know despite Geoffrey’s failed first marriage and rumored worth of $100 million at the commencement of the relationship, the couple did not sign a Financial Agreement (“FA”), formerly known as a Binding Financial Agreement, or ‘Pre-nup’, as the media loves to call them. In fact, it was Geoffery’s decision to forgo the FA, who was once quoted saying, "you go into these things thinking they're permanent. It's a risk I'm prepared to take".

Some may scoff at Geoffrey’s romantic optimism and wonder, particularly given his much younger wife, vast wealth and flashy lifestyle, why in the world did he not ‘protect’ himself?! However, the FA isn’t just a quick fix for a failed relationship. The process is fraught with risk, particularly for practitioners who fear the exposure to claims for professional negligence. Perhaps Geoffrey’s ‘romantic optimism’ was simply a guise for his lawyer telling him “sorry mate, I’m not touching this one with a 20 foot pole”.

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4013 Hits