How is Superannuation Treated After Separation of Couples in Western Australia?

November 17, 2023    divorcelawyersperthwa
How is Superannuation Treated After Separation of Couples in Western Australia?

Superannuation: Brief

The phrase ‘Superannuation’ is used to describe the rewards that employees get upon retirement is superannuation. The National Pension, provident fund, and gratuities are only a few examples of superannuation. Use the gratuity calculator to determine your financial situation and make future investment plans according to your needs and aspirations. In cases where you cannot determine, you can contact the separation lawyers in Perth for appropriate legal guidance.

How does it operate?

As previously stated, an employer establishes a superannuation fund, which aims to provide benefits for retiring employees. Essentially, the employer contributes to a fund to benefit all employees collectively. Businesses can establish a fund with an insurance provider, or they can build their superannuation fund (with the help of their trusts).

How is it important?

If you work, you probably want to know how you will pay for your retirement. For example, consider investing your funds to increase your wealth. You might be interested in learning how superannuation can benefit you. You can begin investing in stocks and trade with a reputable brokerage if you intend to manage your capital sensibly.

What do you mean by superannuation splitting laws?

After a partnership ends, separating couples can value and divide their superannuation according to the superannuation splitting laws. According to the laws, upon separation, one partner may contribute to the other partner’s superannuation fund and divide the balance in their superannuation fund.

Although superannuation is held in trust, it differs from other types of property in that it is treated as property under the Family Law Act. Superannuation laws and the usual conditions of release still apply to split superannuation; it does not become a cash asset.

Do I qualify for a split of my superannuation? Or must I give my ex-partner a huge sum of money?

If you were married or in a de facto relationship when you separated, you might be eligible for a superannuation split or legally required to split your superannuation. According to the Family Law Act, if two people are not legally married, are not related by blood, and are in a relationship, they are in a “de facto relationship” with each other.

Unless there is a child or children from the partnership, a person requesting superannuation orders must have been in a de facto relationship with the other party for at least two years. The 2-year rule does not apply if a party makes a significant contribution or has a child from the connection; even if the relationship ended before the two-year mark, an application for superannuation orders may be submitted.

To what portion of my former spouse’s superannuation am I entitled? How much could I be required to pay in superannuation?

Parties will usually calculate a superannuation split that equalizes their superannuation interests in a long-term partnership if neither party had significant superannuation at the beginning of the relationship. To split one party’s superannuation interest and pay the other party’s preferred fund, the value of both superannuation interests must be added together, divided by two, and then split. As a result, the superannuation payout to each party is equal.

This is only sometimes the case, though. Parties can work out a superannuation split that suits their interests as part of a larger property settlement package, either amongst themselves or with the help of legal counsel. For instance, while buying a property, one partner might want a larger portion of the monetary assets, while the other is getting close to retirement and would rather keep their super. To obtain a larger share of the cash assets at settlement, the party requesting the cash assets may give up its superannuation rights.

To decide on a fair and reasonable distribution of the parties’ superannuation interests, the courts have broad authority. The separation lawyers in Perth treat superannuation as property, so if a Court decided the dispute, the following four steps would be used to assess each party’s entitlement:

  1.  The superannuation needs to be appraised first;
  2.  Second, an evaluation of each party’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the purchase, preservation, and enhancement of the superannuation fund is required;
  3.  Thirdly, the Court shall consider the following elements following superannuation splitting laws under the strict supervision of the separation lawyers in Perth according to the Family Law Act in Australia.
  • The health and age of each individual, each person’s ability to earn a living, whether or not the partnership has children and who those children reside with.
  • The parties’ current financial obligations and liabilities.
  • Lastly, a determination is reached regarding how equitable the settlement is under all the circumstances. How long can I file for superannuation after becoming separated or divorced?

If you were a part of a marriage, you have 12 months from the day your divorce order went into effect to apply to the Court for superannuation orders. You can file for superannuation immediately following your separation if you still need to receive a divorce order.

If you were in a de facto partnership, you have two years from your partner’s separation to petition the Court for superannuation orders.

If a party to a marriage or de facto relationship can show hardship, the Court may allow them to file for a superannuation order after the 12-month or 2-year limitation period. The party must submit a special application to the Court asking for permission to proceed beyond the deadline, which can make the procedure exceedingly costly and intricate. Parties should be mindful of time restrictions as there is no assurance the Court will grant the leave.

How can I determine how much money my partner’s or my superannuation fund is worth?

Meet the requirements of being an “eligible person” and have a legitimate need for the information. You can apply to the trustee of the superannuation fund for information on a member’s superannuation interest. The following people can apply to obtain information about a fund member’s superannuation interest:

  • the member,
  • the member’s spouse,
  • their legal representative or the person planning to sign a superannuation agreement with the member if either party passes away

The eligible person must state that they need the information to:

  • Correctly negotiate a superannuation agreement or
  • Please support them with family law proceedings relating to the superannuation interest to apply for information about the member’s superannuation interest. The application must also provide the member’s full name and birth date.

We have reached a general agreement over the division of our superannuation holdings. How do we put our Agreement in writing?

By signing a Financial Agreement or requesting Consent Orders from the Court through the help of separation lawyers in Perth, the parties can formally formalize their Agreement about the distribution of superannuation.

You can apply for consent orders regarding property division in the Australian Family Court with proof that documents the Agreement. The Orders become legally binding and enforceable on both parties and the trustee of the superannuation fund after a Registrar of the Court approves them.

How is superannuation divided?

How is superannuation divided? To know how superannuation is divided, you must notify the superannuation fund trustee in writing that you are seeking superannuation splitting orders before you can divide your or your ex-partner’s superannuation. We refer to this as looking for “procedural fairness.” You must give the trustee the member’s number, birth date, and specifics of the items you are requesting.

The trustee can contest the superannuation orders in writing or at any applicable court hearing. Parties are required to give the superannuation fund trustee the orders for implementation once the Court has made a superannuation order.

What happens if we can’t decide how to split our superannuation?

You can ask the Court for an order if you and your ex-partner cannot agree on splitting your superannuation interests. The four steps the Court will use to decide on a just and equitable superannuation division are listed above.

Wrapping Up

Dealing with superannuation in a property settlement when a marriage or de facto relationship breaks down can be complicated, confusing and time-consuming, apart from legal considerations regarding taxes that flow from splitting superannuation.

Considering separation lawyers in Perth will help you make sound decisions that are as efficient and accurate as possible concerning superannuation property settlement.

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