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Total Immunity Against Future Asset Separation.


I am seeking independent opinions as to the ideal property structure designed specifically to make myself
legally immune to any future property divisions.

After going through a lucky process of separation in which no claim was made against me I realized the
seriousness of how to re-structure finances in the future before entering into any new relationships.

I have now set-up my own discretionary trust in which I am the sole appointer of. My house, my super and my company
now reside in here and are legally owned by my lawyer as trustee.

Other than the contents of my home there is nothing more than approx. $3000 to my name and I am currently
the only beneficiary on the trust deed.

Is cohabitation ok now or should it be necessary to also look into drafting a pre-co-habitual agreement
with my new future partner in order to further secure my assets?

I just want to be able to live my life normally without having to worry about being sued every time a relationship
goes foul. That means I want to be sure everything is fine and no I don't want to live like a monk dedicated
to a life of eternal celibacy to prevent it from happening either.

It appears you have spent considerable time , effort and especially mental energy re-organising your financial affairs.

Best of luck to you and your "new future partner"!
Have you also amended your Will to reflect your new stance on your assets?
Family Law isn't my area but I came across the following order:-

 Rand & Rand and Ors [2006] FamCA 1530 (10 January 2006) said
That the Husband do all acts and things necessary to transfer to the Wife all of his entitlements in the Rand Family Trust and further, if requested to do so by the Wife in writing, cause to be transferred to the Wife all of the entitlements that the said trust may have in S Pty Limited, and then if requested to do so by the Wife in writing resign as trustee and appoint the Wife as trustee of the said trust, And thereafter be permanently restrained from exercising his power of appointment or removal in relation to the trust.

OK family it's a family trust so it may not be relevant, but it may also be.

Perhaps you should not only resort to conventional protection as in contraceptives but consider not letting a relationship get to the dangerous state. Perhaps even resort to contractual relationships where you can get what you appear to want without any strings. However, perhaps the latter would be more expensive.
I imagine that should you reveal to any future partner your desire to "make yourself immune to any future property divisions" that your problem will resolve itself, as they will run for the hills.

There does come a time when the bitterness of past relationships needs to be left behind, to not poison future ones.
If I enter into a relationship with you I do not expect that what you bring to the table now belongs to me and likewise I do not expect that what I bring to the table now also belongs to you. Hence why many of the courts no longer simply split assets (50/50) at the time of divorce/separation but rather spend time tediously going through years of bank statements to get a true indication of who contributed to building the assets as they stand to potentially divide and then acting accordingly to this data.

However, the risk of the matter is that many of the courts still don't look at it this way, they simply split everything as it stands 50/50 and hence the constant need for many to set-up financial affairs such as discretionary trusts which transfer the legal ownership of all the existing assets to a third party outside of the marriage altogether. "This protects assets from potentially being credited"- according to Family Trusts By N.E. Renton, page 20.

I do expect that while we are together with the person we care about our interests are in the best interests of each other.
This means what is yours is mine and mine is yours ect, but only from a moralistic/romantic point of view. While we where together I may have even made you a beneficiary of my discretionary trust but from the point view of divorce or de-facto separation we both should leave with what we brought into the relationship and nothing more. If I brought a trust into a relationship I am entitled to leave with it and I may even (as appointer) advise my trustee to subsequently remove you (my ex partner/wife) as a beneficiary, or I may not. I may even request to keep you as a beneficiary and then child support be made to you via the discretionary trust (in an extremely tax effective manner). Hence the discretionary power of a discretionary trust!

Why arnt more people setting up discretionary trusts? Lack of awareness?

Most people enter relationships with optimism, it appears to want to start from a pessimistic point of view and the ‘seat belt’ you are building in is really going to protect you in an accident.

I am not certain what you have been reading however you seem to misunderstand the nature of Trusts in relation to Family Law.

Family Trusts are traditionally those set up to protect large amounts of land being divided up and large shareholdings from being diluted. These types of trusts cost a great deal of money to both set up and administer.

The Courts and the ATO look at the benefit you receive from the trust albeit in direct or secondary income and any benefits which can be future value.

”Steve 456” said
Why arnt more people setting up discretionary trusts? Lack of awareness?
Not a lack of awareness- more of practicality since a Court can drive a bus thorough your apparent protection. This is not only the Family Court but cases that do not involve children and go though District Courts. You should remember a Family Court has far more discretionary power than the ATO in assessing your worth and income.

Of course if there is a child involved the CSA will assess your ‘income’ –good luck if you think a trust is going to protect you from an organisation that can make up the rules as it goes along.
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