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How to write a separation agreement in Australia

This article answers the question: How to do a separation agreement in Australia? We explain your options for writing a separation or financial agreement in Australia and getting the legal advice that will make it legally binding.

Let’s start with the basics

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What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement (more correctly known as a financial agreement), is a contract made between a couple (married or de facto) who wish to document how their financial property should be divided.

In Australia, the correct term for this type of agreement is a “Binding Financial Agreement” or BFA.

You can make a BFA before, during or after marriage. In the case of a separation – it’s an agreement made after marriage under section 90C of the Family Law Act 1975. In this article, the terms separation agreement, financial agreement and BFA are interchangeable.

You can also write a separation agreement for de facto or divorced couples, and the following information applies to those situations as well.

what is a separation agreement

Can you write your own Separation Agreement?

It is possible, but there are certain requirements that must be met if you expect the agreement to be Binding.

If you want an agreement you can rely on, one that will protect your interests, then it must contain specific clauses and cover issues you may not have considered.

In addition, you and your ex-partner must receive legal advice before you sign the document, otherwise it will have no Binding effect. See section 90G of the Family Law Act 1975.

How to write a separation agreement without a lawyer.

As mentioned above, you can write the agreement, but how would you know what to include and how to express your wishes succinctly, unless you have extensive experience drafting prenups?

In any case, unless you get legal advice before you sign the document, it will be worthless and inadmissible in court.

write separation agreement


One way to write a separation agreement yourself without a lawyer is to use a high-quality Binding Financial Agreement template kit from RP Emery & Associates. 

The kit contains instructions and a template agreement which covers all the standard issues any separation agreement should cover. Think of it like the basic framework to create your own agreement, which you tailor to your specific needs.

Unlike documents from other counties, the RP Emery kit is drafted specifically for Australia by Australian legal professionals.

Once you have a draft agreement you can use our Fixed Price Legal Review Service to make your prenup binding.

How to arrange a separation agreement ?

Traditionally, you would engage a lawyer to draft the agreement for you. This involves several meetings to determine what you want the agreement to achieve and as lawyers charge by the hour it is easy to see how the costs escalate quite rapidly.

Alternatively, you can start with a template kit and do more of the work yourself saving you considerable time and money, but remember, you will still need legal advice before you sign, to ensure your agreement is Binding.

What are the benefits of using a Kit vs a Lawyer

When you visit a lawyer for the first time, you can expect a first meeting to flesh out your needs. From that meeting you’ll be required to provide certain information such as;

  • Who are the parties to the agreement? You will provide full names and dates of birth.
  • When did you separate?
  • Are there any children of the relationship (names and dates of birth)?
  • Do you hold any controlling interest in a company trust or SMSF?
  • List each party’s current assets and liabilities

Once that information has been provided then a document will be prepared (generally from a template the firm has used previously) and another meeting will be scheduled to review the draft agreement. You may need to provide additional info and there may be several emails back and forth. All the time the metre is running at the going hourly rate. The more meetings and emails the higher the cost.

Once a document has been prepared you will provide a copy to your fiancé who must then seek his/her own legal advice. It’s a time consuming and costly process.

Avoid all the hassle

All that to-ing and fro-ing can be avoided if you use a template kit.

You will still need to provide all that information but instead of paying a lawyer to enter the data into their template, you and your partner can enter the information straight into a template yourself.

We’ve provided screenshots of the separation agreement template so you can see how easy it is to complete.

separation agreement sample page 1

separation agreement sample page


assets and liabilities schedule

There are three assets and liabilities schedules in the agreement, one for each partner, and one for joints property.

The RP Emery kit also includes a comprehensive Users Guide which essentially walks you through the process of writing your financial agreement.

separation agreement users guide

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Will a template agreement provide the same level of protection?

It’s worth noting that most separation agreements say much the same thing.

Generally speaking, the couple have property (houses/mortgages, savings, shares, cars, superannuation etc) they wish to divide. This is the basic premise of our template agreement.

At the end of the day, the lawyer who provides your legal advice is responsible for advising you about the effect of the agreement and any deficiencies in that document. So, whether you start with a template or not, the level of protection and the quality of your final agreement is ultimately determined by the lawyer who provides your legal advice – which is why we have chosen our lawyers very carefully.

Experienced Family Law Experts

The lawyers who provide our Fixed Price Legal Review Service are family law experts who have years of experience and have literally advised thousands of clients about their financial agreements. This field of family law is their bread and butter, and you can be sure they will fulfil the requirements of the legislation in relation to your individual matter.

Let’s take a look at the process

  1. Download the Agreement Template Kit – The template is the blueprint for how your property settlement is going to look. You need one kit per couple.
  2. Add your information to the template – You and your partner add your personal information to the agreement: what you own, what you owe and how it will be divided.
  3. Submit your draft to us for Assessment – We assess your draft and help you to caress those basic building blocks into a robust agreement that the lawyers will quickly understand and be able to advise you efficiently. Because we maintain the high quality of the agreements the lawyers receive, they know how much work should be involved and that all adds up to substantial savings to you.
  4. Get the Required Legal Advice – After your draft is approved you’ll be able to purchase the Fixed Price Legal Review Service. The fee for providing this level of advice and certification is $ which provides legal advice for both parties (unless your situation is particularly complex).Then we will allocate an independent Family Law Specialist to you and your partner. You will speak with your allocated lawyer over the phone or zoom from the comfort of your own home or office.
  5. Sign the Agreement – Sign the Agreement AFTER both parties have received their legal advice and store it away somewhere safe.

We work with you

In a nutshell – we work with you from start to finish. From the moment you download your agreement to the final signature. We know our stuff, our systems are finely tuned and our customers love us for it!

“The service provided by your company was second to none! The prenuptial contract process was seamless with all the details that I wanted plus more. The service, support, the contract, examples contract and everything that came with it was faultless! I highly recommend your company and will with no hesitation use your service again! Well Done.”
Nathan Waterstone
Oakleigh Vic

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A Word of Warning

If you do decide to download a document from the internet, only a document drafted to comply with Australia’s Family Law Act and reviewed by an Australian lawyer will protect you. If you can’t speak in person to the staff of the company making the offer. Proceed with caution.

On the other hand if you want to speak with us, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call 1800 608 088.

Order Details

If you’ve already done your homework you will know that instructing a lawyer to draft an agreement for you from scratch could cost you literally thousands of dollars.

By the time you add up multiple visits to your lawyers office at over $350.00ph plus the time off work and travelling, it doesn’t take long to see where your money goes.

We understand that most people can’t afford to fork out thousands of dollars to protect themselves from financial ruin.

The good news is you don’t have to. You can get the legal protection you seek to safeguard future assets by using our Financial Agreement Kit and Legal Review Service.

Get Started today – Download the Financial Agreement Kit For Separating Married Couples now

Buy Marriage Separation Financial Agreement 90C Template Kit Now See Separation Agreement for de facto Couples See Separation Agreement for divorced Couples

Important – Required Legal Advice

Financial Agreements only become Legally Binding when each party has received Certified Independent Legal Advice - Click Here for More Information

Australian Law

Our Financial Agreements are drafted to comply with Australian Law

Professionally Drafted

The agreements are professionally drafted by Australian Family Law Experts

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Easy to use

Plain English - No Legalese. Your Financial agreement is easy to use, edit and understand