Superannuation and Divorce

Superannuation Splitting
Unsure about what happens to Superannuation when you are separating? Benn Hill one of our Perth Family Lawyers, explains below….

Where couples have been married, the Family Court of Western Australia may have jurisdiction to make orders which divide the superannuation interests of each of the spouses.  The Family Court may divide superannuation interests with the agreement of the spouses or the Court may make an order dividing superannuation as part of a judgment resolving a dispute.

Each spouse is obliged to provide a full and frank disclosure of their superannuation interests to their former spouse.  This disclosure would ordinarily include identifying each superannuation fund the spouse has an interest in, stating the current value of their superannuation interest and providing to each other a copy of their latest superannuation statements.

Spouses who were married to each other may also use the ‘Superannuation Information Kit’ from the Family Court of Western Australia website to require the trustee of their spouse’s superannuation fund to provide them with information about or a valuation of their former spouse’s superannuation interests.

The appropriate way in which the superannuation interests of spouses should be divided by the Family Court will vary depending on numerous factors including the particular type and value of the superannuation interests held by the spouses.  There are numerous different types of superannuation interests which may be valued and split according to different rules depending on the type of the fund.  Superannuation interests may be split so that one spouse receives a separate superannuation interest altogether or they may be split so that a spouse receives a proportion of any payments which are made by the fund to the spouses.

If spouses reach agreement about the way their superannuation interests are to be divided, they should also consider any taxation consequences of the proposed superannuation splitting orders.

In summary, given the complexity and financial consequences of superannuation splitting, it is important that each spouse obtains professional advice about superannuation splitting from both their lawyer and from their accountant or financial adviser.  The lawyers at Culshaw Miller Lawyers include Accredited Family Law Specialists who can advise you about superannuation splitting.

Make an appointment with Benn.