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Property (Relationships) Model Agreement Published

Couples thinking of contracting out of their rights under the new Property (Relationships) Act now have a model agreement to consider.

Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson says the model has been published as a regulation.

Some couples who wish to contract out and make their own arrangements for division of property on separation or death may find this model form meets their needs.

Couples using the form are still required by law to seek legal advice before signing up. Couples do not have to use the model agreement. They may instead use agreements drafted by their lawyers.

Margaret Wilson reminded those considering contracting out that this could be done from August 1 2001; although the other provisions of the law do not come into effect until 1 February 2002. The law provides for valid contracting out agreements made before August 1 to continue in force.

The new law generally provides for relationship property of married and defacto (including same sex) couples to be shared equally on separation or the death of a partner. The Act also allows compensation to be made where there are economic differences between the spouses or partners after the relationship is over.

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