Couples Urged To Ensure Pre-nups Are Legally Binding

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13th October 2009, 01:30pm - Views: 586

Media Release

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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

Facsimilie +61 2 6248 0639

MR 2909

13 October 2009

Couples Urged to Ensure Pre-Nups are

Legally Binding

The Law Council has cautioned couples to ensure any financial

agreements they enter into before, during or after marriage are legally


Law Council President John Corcoran said, “DIY kits,

currently being

promoted, may initially appear cost-effective but could come

at a great

cost down the track, because you must have legal advice for an

agreement to be enforceable.”

“People should not be fooled into thinking that agreements they have

drafted themselves can be legally enforced if they have been entered

into without the appropriate legal advice.

They are very important

documents and the need to obtain independent legal advice is there for

very good reasons.”

Mr Corcoran said, by

entering into a financial agreement, couples


up their rights to have a court determine disputes about the


matters covered in the agreement. A binding agreement can only be set

aside in very limited circumstances.

“When financial agreements or pre-nuptial agreements operate

smoothly, they are an effective means of allowing couples to avoid or

settle a dispute without having to enter the courtroom.  This is beneficial

to both the individuals involved and the court system,” Mr Corcoran said.  

“Independent legal advice is critical so that each person understands the

commitments they are making, the consequences of the agreement, and

the effect of the agreement on their legal rights,” he said.

“People should always seek legal advice before entering into an

agreement which will ultimately take away their right to access the court

system for working out financial disputes if their

relationship breaks

down,” Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855

The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal

profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its constituent

bodies on national issues, and to promote the

administration of

justice, access to justice and general improvement of the


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