Binding financial agreements offer couples a chance to agree ahead of time who is entitled to what if the relationship ends.
Rather than fighting through an elongated court battle that sours the relationship further and adds extra mental stress and financial strain, this is an amicable process that gives all parties peace of mind.
It has been the subject of many movies and television programs, but the actual realisation of these agreements is far less dramatic when put into action.
We will offer some helpful tips for couples who are looking at this topic in more detail, outlining how they can draft up their own proposal and make it official.
Discuss The Subject Privately
Broaching the subject with binding financial agreements is a process all unto itself. It can feel imposing for those who are only hearing about the consideration for the first time, but this is where couples can talk about the benefits of the initiative in private. What are the motivations for it? What type of assets is being protected? What could happen if the relationship breaks down and each party has to go their separate ways? This is a great opportunity to examine that territory before leading into the agreement.
Before or During Marriage
Agreements of this format don’t need to be designed ahead of time. Although that is preferable by affording more time for the process, these documents can be drafted with professional assistance years into the relationship. This is helpful for those in heterosexual or homosexual relationships where the time spent together could be seen as a complication to the initiative, but there are no time barriers placed on this decision.
Identify Important Agreement Terms
It is beneficial for couples who are looking at binding financial agreements to discuss what type of terms are preferable for them moving forward. From division of assets to inheritance, property entitlements, shares, spousal support, and child support payments, this is an exercise that can cover a lot of ground depending on what individuals want to include as part of the document. This is why it is important for participants not to rush the program, taking note of all the valuable details they need to cover to have peace of mind.
Seek Legal Assistance
Whether it is a lawyer that has been brought aboard to look over binding financial agreements and pass on advice to the couple as a collective, or if there are two different sets of representatives looking after the interests of each individual, legal assistance is highly recommended. This allows both parties to have an experienced specialist sifting over the detail and lodging the paperwork through the correct channels. If there are any outstanding questions with binding financial agreements, they will be the ones to consult with.
One of the major features of binding financial agreements is that they are indeed binding. In other words, so long as they have been drafted correctly and ratified, they are legally enforceable. Examples, where a spouse fails to disclose key assets or liabilities, is where they fall foul of these stipulations, carrying serious legal implications in the process. Couples are not just encouraged to be 100% transparent when disclosing their accounts and their stocks, they are expected to do so because of the penalties they face if they breach these terms.
It is commonly advised for participants who are using binding financial agreements to keep the exercise discrete. The more people who know about the agreement and what it stipulates, the more complicated the whole process can be for all concerned. By keeping additional copies as well, there won’t be any anxiety around discrepancies in the future.