What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a binding legal agreement which is used by couples planning to enter into a marriage or a defacto relationship. The technical legal terminology for this is Binding Financial Agreement under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) Part IV. Some other terms which are used to describe these agreements are prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, separation agreements or any other legally binding agreement which forms in relation to a defacto relationship or a marrirage.
It is a common perception that a prenuptial agreement tmust be signed before the formation of the defacto relationship or marriage. However, this is not in fact true, it is possible to sign a binding agreement at any stage before, during or after the relationship. There are various rules which relate to the time limits for claiming under defacto rules and after a divorce which mean that it would be virtually impossible to get someone to agree to sign one after the time limit has passed as long as the person has fully understood their rights. Before signing, both parties need to get independent legal advice to ensure that that are fully aware of the implications of signing the document.
The subject matter that is usually dealt with by a binding financial agreement is the assets that each of the parties brings into the relationship and how they are to be distributed in the event that the relationship breaks down. It can also exclude certain assets from the relationship so that if legal claims result, these assets will not be included in the pot of assets which can be claimed over.
If you are interested in obtaining a co-habitation agreement, a prenup or a binding financial agreement, you can chat to our lawyers online now by clicking above. You can also post a legal question below or ask us to contact you using the contact form the to right.