Protecting My Assets in New Relationship

In a new relationship, my partner is renting a couple of rooms from me but we sleep in the same bed. I have a rent agreement with her and bills are 50:50.
I have a fair amount of assets, plus am doing well on my mortgage.
Currently we have seperate bank accounts and pay our own way (no one Person pays for everything, we half grocery bills or if we go out).
I’m five years from paying off my home and want to protect the considerable amount of money I’ve put into it over the years.

Is a rental agreement enough to prevent my partner asking for half my stuff if things go south? Currently she doesn’t work and lives week to week. I work full time on good money for what I do.
I’m in it for the long haul with my partner but if something goes wrong I want to protect my assets.

Comments

    • +11 votes

      good luck its all honeymoon and sweet talks my dear lol

    • +12 votes

      Lmao sorry but you're a (profanity) moron.

      Yes I trust her, several months later she owns most things you once did.

      •  

        You must have really fulfilling and meaningful relationships…

        •  

          why op dont make her friend w benefit arranegment?

    • -5 votes

      Good on you. No one else here knows her character better than you. You should trust yourself more than random internet strangers who immediately think all women are out to take as much shit as they can.

      • +3 votes

        Putting your trust in someone who you have recently met & all the financial assets that you have accumulated over a few years for just a few words is very irresponsible thing to do, lmao.

        • -1 vote

          They've met for more than 2 years. Unless she was scheming from the start then it's not hard to know what the person is like.

          •  

            @tikei: Where has he said they've met for two years?

            He mentions it's a new relationship…

            •  

              @Tehcookiemonsta: He's been living with her for more than 2 years.

              From most of the replies I’m screwed if it fails now anyway.

              A person would not have a de facto partner unless they have lived together as a couple for two years without separation.

              •  

                @tikei: That's an assumption… lol.

                • -1 vote

                  @Tehcookiemonsta: Lol. It's called reading between the lines. Just like many people could tell that he was banging the tenant.

                  •  

                    @tikei:

                    It's called reading between the lines.

                    With those interpretations skills, you should sit on the Family Court.

                    •  

                      @cryptonator: Haha, please show us your take on your interpretation on the op's "From most of the replies I’m screwed if it fails now anyway".

                      Or are you going to brush it off as him not reading what the many comments on what being defacto means, saying he is ignorant.

    • +8 votes

      We’ve had a discussion and have both agreed (at this point) to not claim anything from the other should things not work out

      This is hilariously meaningless.

    • +2 votes

      all relationships are good until it's not.

      i'd be wary with being so naieve

    •  

      Get a BFA and make sure of it.

  • +1 vote

    How does she pay half the bills if she doesn’t work? If she’s on Centrelink is a no-no for her to be living in a defacto relationship with you. Hope you aren’t getting rent assistance from the tax payer.

    • +1 vote

      She has assets from when she was working though not as much as me- medical leave is a new thing.

      •  

        So she has medical issues? Hope she can get a job soon!

  • +5 votes

    These comments are pretty depressing considering the main advise is to use hookers and live alone forever. What happens when you’re old and alone with nothing to show for it outside of some old house.
    And having kids is viewed as the end of the world. I mean I get wanting to be child free but viewing a child as just a way for your partner to screw you over seems pretty sad. Really hope people like that won’t have kids for the sake of the child. Staying single may just be the best thing you guys could do to any potential partner that is after a family - meanwhile you calculate the number of days before you can kick out your partner.

    • +15 votes

      This is the wrong take. It's not about staying single and living alone with no kids for the rest of your life.

      People still want to get married and have kids, they just don't want to get cleaned out by some random ex along the way.

      • -1 vote

        Well yes but if the advise to achieve protection is through kicking OPs current partner out, living alone and instead just paying for sexual encounters, then I don’t really see how it’s the wrong take or what difference the reason would make in the choice of action.

    •  

      "What happens when you’re old and alone with nothing to show for it outside of some old house."

      So you're saying the only reason to have a relationship is so you're not alone when you're old?

      • -1 vote

        You’re free to interpret it as you wish but having a family you love and are loved back within, is what makes a house - home. Without it, it’s empty and lonely. Sure I guess u guys can pay for sexual encounters but for most there’s more to a relationship then that. People usually realise things in more clarity when they’re older- if you look back onto your life and all you had was casual encounters, and there’s no one else left behind that you share a love/bond/ memories with, someone that cares for you /will be with you in your time of need, etc chances are you’re going to be impacted the most in your older age. It use to be that people found partners they wanted to get old and grey with, but I guess our generation lives like they will remain young forever that this concept is foreign. And no I’m really not saying people should have families to avoid being alone in old age which is probably how you’ll likely interpret this. Instead people should find partners they can trust and see themselves spending a lifetime of experiences with, someone they can trust to share that journey with, someone they’d want to be around to support if they ever needed help, someone they knew would have their back too if the reverse was the case. Someone they could call family even if they’re child free or maybe they’ll have kids and grandkids etc. and they’ll all continue supporting one another and being there for each other (crazy stuff I know ! )
        instead it’s - “what happens in few years time when I’m bored and have the 7 year itch and this crazy woman takes me to the dry cleaners for cheating on her and demands that I continue to support kids that I helped procreate….”

        • +1 vote

          instead it’s - “what happens in few years time when I’m bored and have the 7 year itch and this crazy woman takes me to the dry cleaners for cheating on her and demands that I continue to support kids that I helped procreate….”

          Hmmm, interesting example.

          And what about the reverse?

          These discussions are not about perceptions of love and relationships. Who wouldn't want a happy loving relationship? What we are looking at, is the tangible realities of the legal system and its practitioners.

          Instead people should find partners they can trust and see themselves spending a lifetime of experiences with, someone they can trust to share that journey with, someone they’d want to be around to support if they ever needed help, someone they knew would have their back too if the reverse was the case

          And no one in a happy relationship ever thinks that they will one day separate and become each other's worst enemies.

          This is not pessimistic or optimistic.

          It is simply what it is.

          having a family you love and are loved back within, is what makes a house - home. Without it, it’s empty and lonely.

          What do you think happens in a divorce or separation?

    • +7 votes

      Look the thing is, these laws need to be done up better. I have met so many older colleagues/acquittances/friends who said getting married these days ain't worth it anymore. The juice isn't worth the squeeze.

      My mouth lies, your mouth lies, the media lies, but NUMBERS don't lie. Marriage rate and population growth has been in decline in the western world since the 1960s. Do you want to know what has "ISM" has gone more mainstream since then too? I'll probably get barrage of negs for saying this.

      But let me put this way. The first wave of this "ISM" is really necessary and can only be good for the human race overall. The second wave of this 'ISM' arguably is for the most part has it's purpose. However, the THIRD and latest wave is no longer about equity, rather about gaining control. It's FUBAR.

      •  

        Marriage is a different ball game, im not really talking about marriage and OPs question isn’t about marriage but rather his current relationship that he says he’s happy in - so going off that alone.
        Many don’t see a benefit to marriage because many live pretty much married lives without the bells and whistle and as far as they’re concerned it’s just an additional cost.
        Population growth and marriage reduction etc - that’s all associated with the fact that our generation has to be extensively educated in order to get anywhere in life. Look at what it took to be teachers and doctors and surgeons etc 50-100 years ago and compare it to what it takes now. An undergraduate degree is worthless nowadays - you need at least a masters or PhD or maybe postgrad to be considered for anything. I myself wouldn’t get married until I’ve completed all my education and can support myself/family independently. Many are choosing to delay the whole family process for a different reason but again these things are not related. Divorce rates is another problem all together and I don’t want to write an essay on this but it’s not related. Many women stayed in marriages previously where they were abused and taken advantage of because society didn’t approve of single mothers or divorced women were labeled as failures etc. I think it’s amazing that people are divorcing. More power to them. Better of single then a shit relationship but again this is a different problem and I feel like many are getting it all muddled up.
        You can argue about AU’s defecto laws and how they’re unfair - I don’t work in the area and don’t have extensive experience on this but I feel like many are talking about things they’ve heard from friends of a friend and I doubt it’s that unfair, and if it is then people have the power to change that - so maybe you guys should do something about that instead of placing the entire blame on the concept of relationships etc.

        • +4 votes

          I doubt it’s that unfair, and if it is then people have the power to change that - so maybe you guys should do something about that instead of placing the entire blame on the concept of relationships etc.

          This is pure ignorance. And I have to call you out on this.

          Legal reform is incredibly difficult to succinctly achieve, irrespective of practise area and jurisdiction. This the reason why a lot of inequalities continue to exist. Voicing opposition does not make the process of re-writing law any easier, especially when it is a multifaceted issue (there are inequalities for both genders).

          The Family Law Act 1975 is incredibly dense, with many of the provisions simply being based on judicial interpretation (reasonably given the subjective matter, but also results in potential erring of judgements given the large caseloads for the Courts).

          And FYI, the Family Court is currently undergoing structural reform measures, and these calls for reforms have been made for a very long time now.

          For those who want to actually read some real-life judgements (Full Court Appeals), here they are - http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/cases/cth/FamCAF...

  •  

    buy bitcoin with them

  •  

    F

  •  

    She will probably need half your assets to pay off her Centrelink overpayment.

  •  

    I'd look at whether you can set up a trust and transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. Remember that controlling an asset gives a lot more power than owning an asset. It'll cost you some to set it up and change ownership etc but it also divorces you from ownership of the asset(s) so you therefore cannot be sued and lose it.

    •  

      I think Family courts look through all trust structures. You need to show that you don’t control the trust for it to be excluded - i.e. put parents or siblings as the trustee/appointor.

      Note: Not a lawyer.

  • +1 vote

    is there only one bed in the house? :S

  • +3 votes

    The first and cheapest way to protect your assets in the short term is to wear a condom.

    The next thing is to get legal advice

  •  

    Put a ring on it. Then it's like any other marriage. Since you are there already re asset split in a breakup.

    Also show her this thread.

  •  

    Cryto? New way to store money?

  •  

    This song feels related to this post
    Protect my balls
    https://youtu.be/rsReyMh17YY

  • +5 votes

    Insight has a really good episode on prenuptial agreements: "Insight S2018 Ep30 - Prenuptial Agreements | SBS TV & Radio Guide" https://www.sbs.com.au/guide/video/1308362307650/Insight-S20...

  •  
  • +1 vote

    LOL. You're (profanity). Not even Pre-nups work in Australia.

  • +3 votes

    Just remember this OP: The most expensive woman in your life will be the one you didn’t pay for.
    And as far as I know, you are not paying for your current one. So that narrows it down.

  • +1 vote

    Generally, 2 years is the rule of thumb now. You can have a rental agreement which will buy you time right up to the 2 years but will fall in the courts after that. Even a prenup (financial agreement) can be altered in court after this period. The best way is to not let her pay for anything that will increase the value of the house. Groceries and furniture don't matter as you can give them to her if the shit hits the fan. If you have kids then you can kiss it all goodbye as the courts will favour her as the lead carer of the kids. So like the lads mentioned earlier on, her moving out if you truly want to protect your assets is not a bad idea.

    This is the legal advice I received (specific to my situation).

  • +2 votes

    Talk to a lawyer, any significant $ saving you want to have - gift to your parents/blood - then have them provide you with a loan of that amount - with payments being made to the parents discretion and at no interest. (not at all)

    You can have the loan void after marriage/parents discretion - but it protects that $ value as your former partner not only takes 50% of your assets, but also 50% of your liabilities.

    I do not know the lawyer lingo that makes this work - but you can at least understand the concept.

    •  

      Seems like a clever concept to me.

      • +1 vote

        Until your parents go bankrupt, due to unforeseen liability, or pass away and greedy siblings get a share of it by challenging the will, or the gift prevents the parents getting the pension etc.

        Gift it to a trust instead, do a loan back, if own ur place outright, the trust gets a mortgage over the property.

  •  

    Go for prenup agreement

  •  

    Open a trust and leave all your asset in there.

  • +6 votes

    This relationship feels so transactional. I am not sure how I feel about it. This guy is so calculated.

    Personally, if I'm earning 500% more than my partner, I'd do more of the heavy financial lifting without being so calculated and letting it getting in the way of the human bonding, the companionship.

    People come and go out of your life for a reason, it is just the nature of change. Live in the moment and enjoy each other's company. The moment it stops you go separate ways, but don't look back and regret that you've spent more money on a person in the relationship than the other way around.

    If you do, then live by yourself and take all the money to the grave.

    • +7 votes

      The concern is not about who pays more while the relationship is ongoing.

      Someone earning 5x that of their partner will in most cases be paying the lions share of the expenses, that's not the issue.

    • +8 votes

      You had $1,000,000 saving. One person come and go and now you are left with $500,000. Another come and go and you are left with $250,000. How many more people you can afford for to be in the moment? Some people do need to be so calculated because of combination of circumstances and broken laws.

      • -4 votes

        500k is still enough to live on.

        Can't live your life based on fear.

        Most likely can tell a person's intentions by one year

        • +4 votes

          you're a dolt

      •  

        If you have kids together imo that’s your own kids birthright. Parents that are so willing to throw their own children into poverty to protect their assets are kinda a real problem. Is a condom so difficult to wear?!?

        • +2 votes

          If you have a child from a previous relationship there is even more reason to protect your assets from the new partner.

          •  

            @cristobaljames: Why do your past relationship kids deserve more money for their upbringing than your new relationship kids? They all have the same amount of your DNA; 50%.

    • +7 votes

      “People come and go out of your life for a reason” , you are lucky that you haven’t dated someone who come in and go out started from a wrong reason. I nearly fell a victim to my last girlfriend who approached and dated me to take my assets. This happened as soon as she knew I was in deep depression and showed vulnerabilities to take advantage of.

      I understand how OP may seem transactional but I think OP knows deep down that something is not right about their relationship.

    •  

      Though it's rare it does happen.

      I'd imagine if every two or three year defacto resulted in assets being argued over there would be a change in laws

    •  

      Splitting costs 50/50 is more profitable for him though, the ultimate bargain.

  •  

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    🚩 Get Legal Advice. 🚩
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  •  

    Get legal advice and get Financial agreement

  •  

    First the thread about having 7 kids to remind me not to have kids, not toss to remind me to stay single.

    Cheers OP.

    Jokes aside, get legal advice. But if you're asking this already, this is going to get messy.

  •  

    Thanks everyone, like I said we had a frank discussion and we both have agreed to keep things fair if things don’t work out- as in, I’ll pay her anything she puts into the mortgage when she goes back to work should we seperate, but she won’t be taking half my house and super. She’s even said that the rent she pays is mine no matter what as she would have to pay it to rent her own place anyway. She’s very fair.
    I know technically after two years she could take half my stuff, but I honestly think she won’t.

    • +25 votes

      we both have agreed to keep things fair if things don’t work out

      lol, man this is meaningless.

      Would anyone ever admit 'if things don't work out I'm going to take half your house and super' ??

      I mean even if she does honestly believe that now, attitudes change when relationships break down. Revenge will taste very sweet when the law does the dirty work.

      • +9 votes

        What this guy says. Unfortunately words and personal agreements dont mean sh!t.

        If you break up it will likely get nasty, and even if it doesnt her parents/friends will get in her ear about what she could potentially claim and then away she goes.

        • +1 vote

          It's like marriage,
          No one goes into it thinking it won't last and thinks " we're different"

          And yet 30 -50% (whatever the true figure is) end up failing

          • +1 vote

            @Samsungnote10: At least with marriage though there is a bit of ceremony involved.

            It is pretty clear what you are getting into and you make a conscious decision to commit fully.

            •  

              @trapper: I see a wedding as just a big party and a piece of paper,
              If two people are truly committed it shouldn't make an iota of difference.

              However some cultures, a wedding is absolutely non negotiable which is fair enough

      • +2 votes

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-16/madison-ashton-denied...

        to OP, look at this case, even though she failed and even if you are a paid hooker, you still have a chance of claiming a huge chunk of assets

      •  

        "I know technically after two years she could take half my stuff, but I honestly think she won’t."

        For your sake I hope you're right……

    • +1 vote

      BFA it mate irrespective. Family Lawyer speaking, it's so easy to draft and it's no nonsense.

    • +14 votes

      Jesus, sorry dude. You are so naive. She may genuinely believe in what she says “now”. When and if things end, her mindset will be totally different. Break ups are often messy and it can turn anyone into spiteful spiritt

      •  

        Yup, especially if OP cheats then all good-will would go out the window.

        Heck even if she cheats and hew new BF is persuasive about it, that might be enough to change her mind.

    • +3 votes

      like I said we had a frank discussion

      Ah, the "Munich Agreement". Peace for Our Time.

      •  

        Lol. So true. "Frank discussion" means nothing when relationships go sour.

    •  

      Mate if she's legit definitely a keeper, hard to find.
      Sounds like my type of woman.

      I know everyone is planning for the worst.

    • +1 vote

      Even with the best of intentions by both people, unfortunately it's not entirely up to you to decide.

      The court has to approve the division of assets in the case of a break up. If the court doesn't feel that the division is fair, they'll make you change it until it is. Crazy I know, but it's designed to protect people who are being bullied into giving up their share.

      It's a really difficult situation, because it does sound like you love each other, and right now it seems impossible that that will change. But sometimes it does. Not saying it will, but it can happen. People fall out of love. Sadly it's just what happens sometimes.

      I really hope for both of you that everything works out exactly as you want it to though, because life is awesome when it does.

    • +1 vote

      Oh man falls last words, bfa all the way, as someone else said she might actually even believe what she told you now, but if it all blows up could flip to exact opposite and want her half and not one but both of your testes

    •  

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      I have 50 million us dollars worth of gold tied up in a Singaporean safety deposit vault.

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  • +5 votes
    1. Create a family trust, where your partner is an excluded beneficiary, and put a corporate trustee with a mix of directors and shareholders (preferably family members you can trust).
    2. Gift as much funds as you have across to the family trust.
    3. Family trust lends back the funds to you, whilst taking security over your property.
    •  

      Upvoted but will this hold up if the trust is created AFTER the commencement of the relationship, especially if living in same residence?

  • +4 votes

    OP is actually the tennant asking if she has banged him long enough to have his house

  • +3 votes

    So I know nothing about this stuff but my ex who I was with for 6 months (who seemed to have psychological issues, but that's another matter…) was going through a divorce with a guy she was with for 6 years, who had 30 million he inherited and they had 2 kids (pretty unhappy marriage). She had a 60/40 split of custody with the kids and worked as a nurse - she never mentioned she married for money but coming from a poor family herself and getting to keep their $3 million house I wonder if she did. But on top of that, would she get half of his 30 million or close?? She never talked about it, but to me that would be a shocking result, makes me very cynical. Having said this, she seemed to pay a hell of a price for it - she hid her issues well but eventually they emerged and she did not seem a happy person.

    It all seems a horrible nasty business and does not reflect well on humanity.

  • +4 votes

    Family Lawyer here. Best way is through a BFA. Relatively inexpensive if done properly and is your only way to do it under family law act.
    Do it early though.
    DM me if you need a hand or if you want to chat I'd be happy to talk about it with you.

    •  

      How much is inexpensive?

    • +1 vote

      Do it early, what’s your general advice on this, let’s say you date for 6 months and do lots of sleep overs then pretty much move in together, do it before you’ve lived together for 2 years, straight away when you move in at 6-12 months? Or what’s best?

    •  

      The question is, will BFA be set aside if one party is so disadvantaged let's say, financially?

      There has been cases after cases where wills were set aside if one member of the families was at severe disadvantage (eg: Destitute).

      How is this any different to BFA?

    • +4 votes

      If you're in Family Law why wouldn't you suggest a Trust over a BFA? Is it because for OP it's too late to put assets into a Trust (on the case if they did split if he put his assets in a Trust many months into their relationship that she would be able to claim from the Trust)?.

      I have a few lawyers in my family, some of which are in the Family Law field, and they always say no BFA, and to secure assets in a trust. Although this is done BEFORE starting a relationship with a new partner.

      •  

        If you already own the house though, can you establish a trust, or do you need to transfer the house to the trust which triggers stamp duty ??

        •  

          My guess is that the Trust will have to pay the stamp duty but could do some accounting magic at tax time to effectively make the duty much lower. Even if you have to pay the full stamp duty, you should still be exempt from capital gains if it's your primary residence. If you have to pay stamp duty, in the case of a relationship breakdown it will effectively be one of the smallest insurance fees that you'll ever pay to protect such a large asset.

          In a Family Trust situation - ideally the property title should be purchased by the beneficiary using the smallest deposit possible and the rest of the funds coming from the Trust in a mortgage. This way a person can own their property (title under their name) but the mortgage is owned by the Trust (which is where the protection of the asset is). The mortgage from the Trust to the beneficiary can be a private agreement where no mortgage repayments are actually paid back (although I believe there may need to be some accounting magic here to make sure the mortgage is water tight). In the case of a relationship breakdown, the mortgage gets repaid from the proceeds of the property sale before the division of the remaining equity in the property.

          I believe it's advisable to not put in anymore than the smallest deposit possible in this case as a very scored partner could force the sale of a property just to attempt to get the 50% equity that does exist on paper (in the form of the deposit).

          What I wrote above is to do with family/business trusts. It's also possible to do a different form of Trust such as a Unit Trust. Unit Trusts can work with Family Trusts. A Unit Trust is more for a shared asset such as if people want to pool their resources to purchase a commercial property and have agreements for rent distributions and to pool the accounting fees while still keeping separate business bank accounts (and separate mortgages from the actual bank or Trust).

          I'm not a lawyer and what I wrote is just what I've gathered from conversations with the lawyers in my family - so it's possible I'm incorrect.

    •  

      @dannyrod Please could you DM me? (I was unable to DM you about this)

  • +2 votes

    This is why kids these day not being able to afford a home is marvelous, you got no assets.

  •  

    Has anyone ever had this happen to them or ever done it?

    2+ years later - gone after half?

    (not married)

    •  

      Once the lawyers get their claws into it - there'd be thousands of victims.

    • +2 votes

      Not me (I just lost >half after divorce), but my good (and quite wealthy) friend at work lost a huge amount after just 18 months, nearly $500k.

      • +2 votes

        woah…. thats insane…