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What Happens To My Superannuation When I Separate?

Superannuation and separation can be very complex in Family law. The question ‘what happens to my superannuation when I separate?’ arises when a couple is seeking a divorce or are already divorced.

The term superannuation is a tax structure in Australia that is aimed at motivating people to save for their own retirement. It is also treated as part of the marital assets that are shared during the property settlement. Given it generally forms a major portion of your total assets, for many separated it is a high concern. Therefore understanding how the prcoess works is essential. The relevant factors that are considered when trying to divide superannuation interests include, but not restricted to the:

  • Superannuation held by each spouse when the marriage started
  • Number of assets each spouse brought to the marriage
  • Current property and interest on the superannuation
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Contribution of each spouse during their marriage, both direct and indirect etc

Dividing superannuation upon relationship breakdown

There are two basic division aproaches a separated couple can take includes:

Through court orders:  This comes in place where there is no binding agreement. The superannuation interests may either be divided with the agreement of the spouses or the Family Court may make an order dividing the interests of the superannuation as part of a judgment resolving a dispute. To understand other specific factors that the Family Court will consider, it is best to consult a reliable lawyer.

Superannuation agreements: This agreement allows separating couples to reach an agreement on a property division without the delay, cost and the emotional toll of going to court. It can be made before, during or after a relationship. It also sets out how the property and financial assets of a separated couple will be divided.

Usually, it is economical and less stressful if you and your ex/spouse can agree on how the superannuation interests should be divided without the need to go through the Family Courts. Further, it is important you consider any taxation effects of the anticipated dividing orders once you both have reached an agreement.

Separation can be financially and emotionally devastating. We recommend you instruct and expert lawyer to receive legal advice about this complex topic. Our expert Family Lawyers can advise you further on superannuation and separation to ensure your retirement is secured. For any queries, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. We also offer a first interview free at no cost and no obligation.