Did you know that you can protect your property by 'contracting out' in case things don't work out? This means that you agree with your partner to divide your property or "contract out" of the Property (Relationships) Act (the Act).

The idea behind these agreements is to provide some personal asset protection and certainty in your relationship, so no matter how you use your property, in the event of a break up, what's yours is yours and what's theirs is theirs, regardless of what the Act says about how that property should be divided. If done properly, this agreement is one of the few binding ways of dividing property if a relationship ends, other than going to court and having court orders made.

A contracting out agreement for protecting assets is often used by couples entering a second or subsequent relationship, especially if they already have property they wish to keep separate. It can be made any time during your relationship, but the best time to do it is before the relationship has lasted three years, as this is when the Act starts to apply to your relationship and the property.

Are you keen on getting more information? Meet Julie and Aimee, our Relationship Property and Contracting out Agreement specialists: