After the family home, superannuation is generally the second largest asset of many families, and as a result, it becomes very important when parties are splitting their property after separation.
The Family Court has had jurisdiction to deal with superannuation entitlements for over 10 years, and amongst other things, can make a splitting order which directs the superannuation trustee to split a members entitlement and pay a percentage or fixed amount to their spouse by way of a new super account being opened for the spouse or the split amount being rolled over into the spouses existing super fund. It is also important to note that a super fund of less than $5,000 cannot be split.
This area of law is not without its complexities, and it is a good idea to organise a time to see one of our experienced and professional Gold Coast Lawyers to discuss your individual circumstances as there are a number of matters to be considered when determining a superannuation split, including the type of superannuation fund it is, the proportion of the property pool that is made up of superannuation, ages and needs of the parties, whether there are children involved, how long it is until the parties can access their super and whether there are any tax implications of the split.
A super split can be beneficial in that it allows for a more flexible property settlement to be decided, taking into account the needs of the parties however it does depend on the individual circumstances of the matter to ensure that the outcome is just and equitable for both parties.
The way in which a super split is effected varies and can be different depending on how the property settlement is being finalized (i.e. by way of consent orders filed with the Court or by way of a Binding Financial Agreement) and there are various steps that must be taken in order to effect the split, including obtaining a valuation of the relevant fund, notifying the superannuation trustee and giving them the opportunity to make amendments to the proposed orders to ensure they comply with the fund requirements.
There are also specific timeframes within which things must be done, and within which the superfund must process the split.
Our experienced and professional family law team are well versed in this area, and can provide you with specific legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances. Please contact one of our Gold Coast Lawyers today on 5563 8970 to arrange a consultation today.