Financial agreements

Smart planning, at any stage of the relationship.

What is a binding financial agreement?

A Binding Financial Agreement or BFA is a private contract between two people who are or have been in a relationship, including same-sex partners.

The agreement sets out how assets including real property, superannuation and liabilities are distributed in the event of a breakdown of the relationship or marriage.


Different Types of binding financial agreements

There are different types of Binding Financial Agreements (BFA’s): –

  • Financial Agreements before the relationship commences commonly known as ‘pre-nups’;
  • Financial Agreements during relationships;
  • Financial Agreements after the relationship has broken down effecting a property settlement; and
  • Financial Agreements dealing with Spousal Support during or after the relationship.

If you are considering entering into a BFA before marriage, make sure you obtain legal advice well before your wedding.

It is important to leave sufficient time between formalising your agreement and the date of the wedding. A recent High Court decision has highlighted the risks of a BFA being signed too close to the wedding date, as it leaves “ink on the wedding dress” – see Thorne v Kennedy [2017] HCA 49.

Child Support Aggreement

Where both parties agree on how much support is to be paid and how, they can enter into a written agreement to that effect. The agreement is then registered with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, who can collect and distribute payments as per the agreement.

It is important to obtain independent legal advice before entering into a Child Support Agreement. Commonwealth child support laws are designed to ensure the interests and wellbeing of the child are met while balancing the capacity of parents to support their child. It is important that you consider all of your options carefully and obtain accurate legal advice about which scenario is best for you.

The type of child support arrangement you enter into will depend mainly on your financial circumstances, but also on how well both parties are able to negotiate the terms of child support.

Our Child Support Lawyers can help you achieve the best possible arrangements that benefit your child’s welfare.

requirements for a binding financial agreement

In order for your BFA to be enforceable, the following requirements must be met:

  • Both you and your spouse / partner must have obtained independent legal advice prior to signing the agreement; and
  • Both you and your spouse / partner must possess a certificate from your legal practitioner confirming that they have advised you independently as to the effect of the agreement on your rights and entitlements under the agreement, and the advantages and disadvantages of you entering into the agreement.


The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) has a number of other requirements that must be met before a Binding Financial Agreement becomes binding, such as:

What Our Clients say

"responsive and helpful professionals"
I highly recommend Kristdel for any family related matters. She is super responsive and helpful professional in all your family related requirements. I the Family Lawyer firm for a long period now. And they are good partners to work with. Highly recommend.
Chamara W.
"caring and empathetic approach"
Brianna was caring and empathetic in her approach with a no fuss attitude. A pleasure to deal with. The outcome Mum and I needed was achieved stress free.
Dean P.
"understood our circumstances, made the process smooth"
Brianna and Christian have been very professional, thorough and made both me and my fathers experience very easy to understand. They provided the best advice and support to achieve a great result with our court matter. Brianna was very prompt in all responses and understood our circumstances which made the process very smooth.
John P.
"worked really hard to give me a new start "
I would like to thank Kehsee and Kristdel from the Family Lawyers for working tirelessly for me on my separation matter. I came to them a pretty broken person from a previous solicitor. The rates they charge are very good. All worked really hard to give me a new start and just as importantly they are all quality people. Thank you.
Shane H.
"highly knowledgable and patient"
Highly recommended. I spoke with Kehsee, who was friendly, highly knowledgeable and patiently answered all my questions. Thanks for the great service!
Evan B.
"very professional, but personalised"
The settlement of our new office premises went so smoothly, with all documents done easy online, and it can be attended to when time permits. Highly responsive office and a very professional, but personalised service at the same time. Thank you for your work and your support.
Katherine I.
"made me feel at ease from the get go"
Kristdel was amazing from the very beginning. I called very stressed and confused. Kristdel made me feel at ease from the get go & provided an unbelievable legal service, With amazing communication & care.
Adam R.
"very understanding and patient team"
Christian and his team at The Family Lawyer have made our legal experience very easy. They are very understanding and patient team making what was a stressful experience a calm one as we progressed through it. If it wasn't for Christian and his knowledge we would have made some very costly mistakes, both financially and personally. Their pricing was fair and the value we received exceeded our expectations.
Camilo M.
"wouldn't hesitate to use their services agai"
Highly recommend and very professional. Christian was very responsive to my questions and is very knowledgeable in his field. I wouldn't hesitate to use their services again.
Amruth R.
"great advice on what would be best to do"
Friendly, professional and understanding staff. I was given great advice on what would be best to do in my situation and they handled it quickly, considered my wants/needs and made sure they were met and the whole process was stress-free. Couldn't be more thankful for the great service.
Jacqui D.
"... Friendly, professional and understanding staff ..."
Jacqui D.
"...highly recommend Kristdel..."
Chamara W.
"... The outcome I needed was achieved ..."
Dean P.
"... They provided the best advice and support ..."
John P.
"...The rates they charge are very good. ..."
Shane H.
"... highly knowledgeable and patient ..."
Evan B.
"... Highly responsive office and a very professional ..."
Katherine I.
"... Kristdel was amazing from the very beginning ..."
Adam R.
"... They are very understanding and patient team ..."
Camilo M.
"... Highly recommend and very professional. ..."
Amruth R.

You have Questions. We have Answers.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, however, it is important to remember that once a BFA is entered into correctly, it will be considered binding, and having it set aside by a court  (without the other party’s consent) is a difficult and expensive process. 

A BFA made between de facto partners will cease to be binding if it is not made in contemplation of marriage, and the parties marry. You should advise your lawyer if you intend to get married so that the agreement can property drafted persist after your marriage.

Yes, full and frank disclosure is a key requirement that must be satisfied in order for the agreement to be legal and binding.

The parties must enter into the agreement of their own free will and be fully informed.

A BFA offers certainty for the finalisation of property matters in the event of a relationship breakdown and will avoid the considerable time, costs and risk in litigating the matter in Court.

The agreement will, as far as the law permits, protect you from future financial claims by your former spouse or partner.

A BFA can be entered into either beforeduring or after a marriage or de facto relationship.

Different sections of the Family Law Act 1975 apply to each scenario, and you should consult your solicitor for advice on the various circumstances.

While you can draft your own agreement, is not recommended. A BFA is a complex legal document that should be prepared by a lawyer to ensure it complies with the Family Law Act 1975. In addition, each party will still need to engage a solicitor for independent legal advice.

Our Family Law Articles