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Most Australians think prenups are fair, so why haven’t they taken off?

Bride and groom on top of cake

New research conducted by ME Bank has shown that 74 per cent of Australians believe prenuptial agreements are fair and have merit. However, only 18 per cent of married couples have one.

What prenups are for

Alan Wright, law accredited specialist from Catherine Henry Lawyers, said entering a prenuptial agreement is about protecting assets.

“The prenuptial agreement (or financial agreement as they are legally known) sets out how the property is to be divided in the event that the couple separate in the future,” said Mr Wright.

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Who are using prenups?

A third of couples aged 18-24 have a prenup, the highest of any age group.

Homosexual couples are also significantly more prepared over heterosexual couples, with nearly 41 per cent signing on the dotted line.

In comparison, the “what’s mine is yours” mentality still exists for middle-aged Australians, with 90 per cent of those aged between 40 and 54 without a prenup.

Principal with Brisbane family law firm Hetherington Family LawJennifer Hetherington believes Australians with something to lose should enter into a prenup.

“Let’s face it, they are not romantic and they are not for people marrying young with their lives ahead of them,” she said.

“People who have children and money from a previous relationship might want to safeguard prior wealth for their children but also provide for their new spouse. A prenup is like an insurance policy to avoid a will being contested or a family law claim,” said Ms Hetherington.

Isn’t it a bet against the marriage?

ME’s research showed that 47 per cent of couples think prenuptial agreements are inappropriate in a relationship based on love.

“You’re probably more likely to claim on this policy than your home insurance policy, and you don’t want your house to be damaged or destroyed, but that doesn’t stop you insuring your home,” said Ms Hetherington.  

Mr Wright also said: “A financial agreement is not for everyone. But, if you want to protect certain assets (e.g. assets that you bring into a relationship or may inherit), then the best way to proceed is with a financial agreement.”

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Most Australians think prenups are fair, so why haven’t they taken off?
Bride and groom on top of cake
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