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24 January 2024

Contracting Out Agreements - do I need one?

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A contracting out agreement (colloquially and often referred to as a “Pre-Nup”) is a written agreement between a couple as to the status of their property (as either relationship or separate property), the ownership of the property, and how the property would be divided in the event of separation or death.

The purpose of these agreements are to “contract out” of the principles of equal division of relationship property as set out in the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. The principles of equal division of relationship property applies to de facto relationship (relationships that exceed three years, or where there is a child of the relationship), civil unions, and marriages.

Contracting out agreements are commonly used to ring fence the parties’ property that they have acquired prior to the relationship, or that they otherwise do not want included in the relationship property pool. These agreements act as an insurance policy – you hope you will not need it, but in the event you do, it will make the process of dividing relationship property easier and more efficient.

If you would like to further discuss contracting out agreements, please contact us on (03) 379 3880 and ask to speak with our Family Law Team.


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