What is a Prenuptial Agreement in Australia?

prenup agreement

Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as “prenups,” are legal agreements entered into by couples prior to their marriage. Prenups typically outline the division of assets and liabilities in the event of divorce or separation, and can also address issues such as spousal support and inheritance. In Australia, prenups are known as “binding financial agreements” (BFAs).


In Australia, prenups are governed by the Family Law Act 1975. A BFA is a legal document that sets out the financial arrangements between couples in the event of separation or divorce. BFAs can be entered into before, during, or after marriage or de facto relationships. However, there are strict legal requirements that must be met in order for a BFA to be binding.


A BFA must be in writing, signed by both parties, and witnessed by a lawyer. Each party must also receive independent legal advice about the effect of the BFA on their rights and the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement. The legal advice must be provided by a qualified family lawyer, who must sign a certificate confirming that the advice was given. Failure to comply with these requirements can render the BFA invalid.

How Valid are Prenuptial Agreements in Australia?

BFAs are legally binding agreements that can be enforced by the Family Court of Australia. However, there are circumstances in which a BFA can be set aside. For example, a BFA may be set aside if:


  • One party did not receive proper legal advice before signing the agreement;
  • One party was forced or coerced into signing the agreement;
  • The agreement is unfair or unreasonable;
  • The agreement was entered into as a result of fraud or duress.

The court may also set aside a BFA if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the agreement was signed, such as the birth of a child or a change in financial circumstances.

Is it Possible for Prenuptial Agreements to be Legally Enforced in Australia?

Yes, prenuptial agreements (prenups) can be enforced in law in Australia, but there are certain conditions that must be met for a prenup to be considered legally binding.


In Australia, prenups are known as Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) and are governed by the Family Law Act 1975. To be enforceable, a BFA must be in writing, signed by both parties, and each party must have received independent legal advice before signing.


In addition, the BFA must be fair and reasonable at the time it was made, and must not be set aside by a court if it would cause serious injustice to one or both parties. A court may also set aside a BFA if it was obtained by fraud, duress, unconscionable conduct or undue influence.


It is important to note that BFAs can only deal with financial matters, such as the division of assets and spousal maintenance, and cannot deal with issues related to children, such as parenting arrangements or child support.

Do-It-Yourself Prenuptial Agreement in Australia

While it is possible to create a do-it-yourself prenuptial agreement in Australia, it is not recommended. As mentioned above, there are strict legal requirements that must be met for a BFA to be binding, and failure to meet these requirements can result in the agreement being set aside. A qualified family lawyer can ensure that the agreement meets all legal requirements and advise both parties on the effect of the agreement on their rights.


Accordingly, a prenuptial agreement in Australia is a binding financial agreement that sets out the financial arrangements between couples in the event of separation or divorce. Contact Lyons Law Group family lawyers in Parramatta if you require family law advice.

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