Superannuation and Property: How is it Divided?

Property Split

The majority of separated couples would like to understand how his or her superannuation as well as property is going to be split between them. The amount of superannuation a party has could possibly be a substantial part of the complete net property of the parties.

The Family Court are only able to make orders splitting superannuation, as if it were property, in cases concerning the separated parties to a marriage not circumstances regarding separated parties to a de facto relationship.

In marriage cases the Family Court doesn’t have a uniform method for the treatment of superannuation interests.

  • Occasionally orders are made splitting superannuation and splitting property;
  • Sometimes the property is split in proportions that are different from the amounts whereby superannuation is separated.
  • Now and again orders are made separating the property as well as leaving 1 party with their superannuation, in a way that the party with the superannuation gets a lesser amount of property and all or most of the superannuation and the other party receives more of the property with no or hardly any superannuation.

Although each case needs to be considered and decided on its own merit, a few useful guidelines include things like:

  • Should you be the spouse with a lot of the superannuation, and you want a considerable share of the property, you should recommend a superannuation splitting order along with a property division order. If you do not, then there is a risk that no superannuation split will be given and you will be still left with all the super and less of the property.
  • If you are the spouse without having super and you also would like all or most of the property then do not apply for a super splitting order. Instead, apply for more of the property with the super being left to the other partner.
  • Usually, in the event that you have small children and the other party’s super is a sizeable amount of the full property (including the super), chances are the Court will leave the vast majority of property with the party with the children and all of the super with the other party. However, this is where the Court’s method has been most inconsistent.
  • Obtain a valuation of superannuation interests which reflects the real worth of the superannuation. Sometimes, and this will often be determined by the nature of the superannuation interest (e.g. defined benefit, pension only benefits), it may be necessary to engage a specialist to undertake this.
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