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Property Settlements and Superannuation – What if my ex doesn’t disclose superannuation?

Property Settlements and Superannuation – What if my ex doesn’t disclose superannuation?

Have you recently separated and want to finalise a property settlement?

Did you know you might be entitled to some of your former partner’s superannuation?

There is a much easier way to discover superannuation assets!

After a relationship has ended, there usually needs to be consideration and discussion about who gets what before each person walks away. Sometimes this process is simple, such as who will take custody of the family cat, or who will be the one to move out of the rented home.

At other times there are more complicated assets for division including businesses, houses, cars…. and surprisingly, even Beanie Babies. In addition, not many people realise that if you are married or in a long-term de facto relationship with someone, superannuation will usually be included as a significant asset for division.

The process of discovering all assets for division is called disclosure and is something a family law specialist lawyer has a lot of experience with. Each party, in theory, must provide full and frank disclosure about all assets. This includes bank accounts, and yes, superannuation balances.

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What happens when one of the parties is not being honest about the full extent of their assets?

There are already several methods family law solicitors already use to discover hidden assets, however this process just became one step easier for solicitors dealing with property settlements: there are new laws allowing the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to release information about a parties’ superannuation assets to the family law court.

With the introduction of an easier process for dealing with a party who is attempting to evade the disclosure process, this allows for a direct method to ensure each asset is fully disclosed, so that more effort, time, and attention can be spent on how to divide all the assets in a way that is just equitable.

In turn, this helps you because it speeds up the finalisation of your property settlement matter and in turn, reduces the costs associated with the property settlement process

How does disclosure of superannuation assets work?

In September 2021 the Federal Government introduced changes to both the Family Law Act 1975 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to allow for increased superannuation visibility in family law proceedings.

The changes to the legislation which will take effect in April 2022, will allow parties to a family law property settlement proceeding to request their former partner’s superannuation details with ease.

The release of superannuation details by the ATO is started when your family lawyer makes a request direct to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) Registry, avoiding the need to request disclosure from the other party altogether.

The outcome is that, depending on the circumstances of your relationship, you may be entitled to a portion of the superannuation asset.

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After your family lawyer has provided the required notice to the superannuation fund, the calculated portion of superannuation will be rolled into your superannuation fund in anticipation for a more comfortable retirement.

For more information about the superannuation splitting process, please visit the FCFCOA website here.

Take the guess work out of family law property settlements

Often people encounter difficulties with discussing the division of assets with former partners or they aren’t entirely sure what they might be entitled to in a property settlement.

At Brazel Moore Family Lawyers, we have a Family Law Specialist Central Coast

who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

As a leading law firm located on the Central Coast, we are committed to helping clients in quickly learn what their options are via cost-effective, fixed-priced initial consultations to suit your needs. Click here to see your initial consultation options.