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A prenup is not just for the rich and famous

in Family Law by Heather McKinnon on

Whenever I flick through a magazine, there seems to be endless stories about high profile couples getting married or divorced and questions about prenuptial agreements.

But prenups are not just for celebrities and the wealthy like Mariah Carey and James Packer.

As family lawyers, we are seeing a greater willingness among Aussie couples, particularly those who have already been married or are in a de facto relationship, to explore the idea of prenups - known legally as Binding Financial Agreements.

Our firm recently surveyed 2,000 Australians in married and de facto relationships about whether they would consider a prenup if they entered into a new relationship.

Three out of ten (29 per cent) respondents told us they would be interested in getting a prenup drawn up if they were about to marry or re-marry. One in 14 (7 per cent) said they would definitely get a prenup, while a further 22 per cent said they would consider a prenup.

Of those who were in favour of a prenup for a new relationship, almost half (48 per cent) wanted to protect their home, while one in six (17 per cent) were concerned about their savings.

Our poll found those interesting in getting a prenup wanted to protect a range of other property and assets including:

  • A future inheritance
  • Shares
  • Superannuation
  • Car
  • Pets
  • Luxury items, including jewellery

While a prenup can provide a level of financial security, it’s important to remember that they can be challenged and a court can set them aside.

Circumstances can change - someone might unexpectedly inherit money or need to stop working due to illness or to raise children. What once seemed reasonable may not be viewed that way at the end of relationship.

Just over half (52 per cent) of those we surveyed said they would not get a prenup and one in five (18 per cent) they were undecided.

It is clear that prenups are not for everyone and that there is still some uncertainty and confusion about how they work.

There are also strict legal requirements about how prenups are drawn up so a couple should each seek independent advice before going down this path.

For further information on prenuptial agreements, please click here. For further information about how we can help you with an agreement and other related matters please contact our family law team.

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