When a marriage or de facto marriage breaks down, property can be divided between the two parties, and the same goes for superannuation. Superannuation is an important financial asset and there are certain laws in place to adjust, transfer, and divide it.
How is superannuation different from other types of property?
Unlike other types of property, superannuation is held in a trust. The trustee of the superannuation has control of the assets of the fund and has the right to transfer, divide, or adjust it. The process is different when it comes to other assets such as real estate or bank accounts.
Is there a formula to split super funds?
There is no exact formula to split super funds. Keep in mind that super has many different manifestations and that determining an exact formula is very difficult. Generally, the court takes into account each party's entitlements in the division of the asset pool.
Divorcing couples also have the option to:
- Have a formal written agreement to split superannuation
- Seek a court order to split superannuation
- Seek consent orders to split superannuation
How does the process work?
While processes can vary, a superannuation split typically follows three steps.
1. Identifying and valuing the accumulated super throughout the duration of the marriage
The first step is to determine the combined amount of you and your partner's super. If you are not a member of the fund, you can send a request to access information from your former-partner's super fund.
2. Seeking the advice of a divorce lawyer
Dealing with a superannuation split can be a very complicated and time-consuming process. An experienced divorce lawyer in Cairns can guide you through the process and make the process easier.
3. Splitting the super
Once you have a formal written agreement or a court order, you can apply for your super to be split. Since super is usually reserved for retirement, the split will remain in the system until then. You can either opt to establish a new account within the existing fund or transfer it to a new one.
Marino Lawyers has a team of experienced divorce lawyers to help you understand the whole process. We have offices located in Cairns, Edmonton and Port Douglas with visited offices at Gordonvale and Babinda. For more information, please call us at (07) 4081 6700.