Many couples that decide to separate, choose to include superannuation in their property settlement, and if you fall into this category, legal matters can seem quite complex. Legal terms do nothing to help the layman understand family law, and with that in mind, here are a few questions answered regarding superannuation splitting.
- Does the Split Have to Be 50-50? – No, there are no set rules regarding how superannuation is split. The two parties can include as much of one person’s superannuation that they agree is fair, and with many variables, this gives you freedom when considering splitting superannuation.
- Can One Party Receive the Superannuation in Cash? – When some of a person’s superannuation is given to their ex-partner, the funds are transferred to an account nominated by them, but generally speaking, the funds cannot be accessed until the person reaches retirement age. Of course, if the person is already of retirement age, then they can access the funds.
- What If Both Parties Are in Agreement? – If both parties are in agreement over a superannuation split, they would sit down with a family lawyer and draw up a legally binding agreement, which would then be submitted to the family court. When dealing with superannuation consent orders, family law has specific guidelines, which must be followed, and that is why hiring a family lawyer is a good idea.
- Who Do Superannuation Splitting Laws Apply to? – Superannuation splitting laws apply to married couples (or formerly married) and de-facto relationships that have broken down. Many couples that are not yet divorced proceed with their property settlement prior to the divorce, and by talking to a family lawyer, you can start the process rolling.
- Are There Fees to Be Paid? – The superannuation Trustee would likely levy a fee for the administrative work required when the order is submitted for their approval and consent (which must be given for the family court to consider the request). The family lawyer would charge a fixed fee for their services, regardless of how much work they do.
- Do Both Parties Have to Attend Family Court? – When an agreement has been reached by both parties and they sign the binding agreement, they do not have to attend the court when the consent order is presented, and the family lawyer would be able to process this within a short time.
If you would like to talk to a family lawyer about superannuation splitting, an online search will help you locate a local law firm that focuses on family law.