If you’re in the process of going through a property settlement with your Ex, an asset that a lot of clients forget about is superannuation, despite it often being the most or second most valuable asset that a person might own.
Under the Family Law Act 1975, superannuation is included as property, but it is often treated differently from other types of property, due to its special nature as technically being an asset held ‘in trust’ by the superannuation fund for its members.
However, it is possible to divide superannuation when a relationship breaks down. Superannuation splitting laws have developed which allows a person’s superannuation interest to be split, on relationship breakdown. This can be done if you have court orders (including orders by consent) or a superannuation agreement. The rules and regulations surrounding superannuation is incredibly complex, and you’ll need to make sure that your orders or agreement is drafted properly.
It might be necessary to have your superannuation specifically valued by a specialist valuer. This is particularly recommended if you have a defined benefit interest (like CSS or PSS). We have had a number of matters where the statement might say $100,000 or $200,000, but the valuation figures are in the millions.
If you would like assistance on how your superannuation might be treated under family law, please do not hesitate to contact Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.