New Superannuation powers for parties in Family Law Property Proceedings 

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When a party seeks Orders to divide the assets and liabilities of the relationship following their separation, they can also seek Orders regarding superannuation. Superannuation splitting Orders do not convert superannuation into a cash asset however each party’s superannuation interest can be adjusted by splitting (transferring) the superannuation entitlements held. 

To enable greater transparency of the value of superannuation entitlements, a party can now obtain superannuation information through the Family Court using records held by the Australian Taxation Office. 

How to make a request 

The request for superannuation information is made through the Commonwealth Courts Portal. To make an application, a party must be a party to current Court proceedings before the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. 

How long does it take to provide the documents? 

After an application is made a response will be available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal within 7 days. The response will be visible to all parties and their legal representatives. The response will be a letter from the Australian Taxation Office to the Court advising: 

  1. That the party was located and provides details of the superannuation entitlements; 
  1. That the party was located but no superannuation entitlements were found; or 
  1. That the party was not located.  

Important information 

The superannuation information provided by the Australian Taxation Office may not reflect up-to-date account balances and should not be solely relied upon to the exclusion of the requirement to obtain updated financial disclosure as is required under the Court’s Rules.  

The information provided can also be used to complete a Form 6 (Superannuation Information Kit) forwarded to the Superannuation Fund who is legally required to provide a valuation or information which could be utilised by an actuary to undertake a valuation. 

How can the information be used? 

The information may only be used for the sole purpose of the Court proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and must not be disclosed to anyone that is not part of the Court proceedings.  

If an individual makes a record of or discloses the superannuation information it may become an offence. 

How can this information assist? 

The information will assist parties in circumstances of non-disclosure and will allow a party to make an informed decision regarding fairness of any property settlement.  

How can Baker Love Lawyers help? 

Financial proceedings including superannuation splitting Orders can be complicated. Receiving early and detailed advice from an specialist in family law will often result in a quick and amicable resolution of property disputes. If you have a property matter which involve superannuation splitting orders or if you require any advice regarding any family law property settlement please contact Matthew Carney, an Accredited Specialist in Family Law on 02 4944 3322 or by email mcarney@bakerlove.com.au

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