Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Appeal, Binding Financial Agreement, Binding Financial Agreement, Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Judges:  Finn JRyan JStrickland J


Background: A couple, known by the court as Mr Wallace and Ms Stelzer, met in 1998 at the Sydney club where Ms Stelzer worked soon after Mr Wallace split from his first wife. At the time, he was 51 and she was 38. They married seven years later and entered into a prenuptial agreement that Mr Wallace would pay Ms Stelzer $3.25m if the relationship failed within four years. It failed within two.  
 
  [Legal Issue]Mr Wallace tried to renege on their pre-nuptial (binding financial) agreement, arguing that the relevant legislation was unconstitutional because it was retrospective. He argued that his pre-nuptial agreement was signed before the 2010 amendments and so his agreement should be deemed invalid. Mr Wallace also fought to have the pre-nuptial agreement deemed invalid, claiming that Ms Stelzer behaved fraudulently by making "false promises of love and desire for children". He also said his lawyers did not give him adequate legal advice and make clear the pros and cons of the pre-nuptial agreement. He said that his lawyers had taken only minutes to sign it.    [Court Orders]The Full Court of the Family Court ruled the pre-nuptial agreement was binding and that the amended legislation "can have a retrospective operation which is constitutionally valid". The woman who previously worked as a pole dancer is set to receive $3.25 million from her ex-husband after the Family Court ruled against his bid to have their pre-nuptial agreement overturned because of her "false promises". The ruling means that there is much more certainty about the validity of pre-nuptial a     


 ] Download Decision

Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Binding Financial Agreement, Binding Financial Agreement, Breach of Duty, Contract, Lawyer Complaints, Pre-Nuptial Agreement, Professional Negligence, Property
Judges:  Johnson J


Background:  
 
  [Legal Issue]   [Court Orders]Father of two to be awarded up to $800,000 in damages from his lawyers for professional negligence in preparing a defective binding financial agreement (pre-nuptial agreement).     


 ] Download Decision

Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Binding Financial Agreement, Binding Financial Agreement, Contract, Divorce, Dowry, Pre-Nuptial Agreement, Property, Sharia Law
Judges:  Harrison AsJ


Background: The plaintiff and defendant had been married under Islamic law but not under Australian Law. A pre-marital contract signed by both contained a clause whereby the plaintiff was to pay defendant $50,000 in the event that the plaintiff initiated "separation and/or divorce". The Magistrate found that the contract was enforceable. This Local Court decision was appealed to the Supreme Court.  
 
  [Legal Issue]This decision from the Local Court was appealed to the Supreme Court to determine whether there was an error of law, a jurisdictional error, and whether the pre-marital contract against public policy.    [Court Orders]The appeal against the original decision of the Local Court, which found that the contract was enforceable, was dismissed.     


 ] Download Decision