Date of this Version


Document Type

Miscellaneous Material

Publication Details

Wade, John (2012) The perils of prenuptial financial agreements in Australia: Effectiveness and professional negligence. 9pp. Paper updated in 2017.

© Copyright John Wade, 2012.

Distribution License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Legal practitioners in Australia who draft financial agreements before (s 90B; 90UB) or during a marriage or relationship (s 90C; 90UC) have a high risk of being guilty of professional negligence. Vigilance, protocols and expertise only reduce the risk; it is never eliminated. That is why a number of experienced and smart family lawyers in Australia will never draft pre-nuptial (s 90B; 90UB) or “during relationship” agreements. They send their clients to more naïve or risk-taking lawyers. In each case, the professional negligence and ineffective agreements lie dormant and hidden like hand grenades. The agreements will explode over say the 30 years which follow signing – either upon the separation of the signatory spouses, or the death of one, or a dramatic change of circumstances for better or worse of one of the spouses.



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