CONSENT ORDERS IN AUSTRALIA


SPLITTING SUPERANNUATION THROUGH CONSENT ORDERS

Superannuation Splitting Laws effective as of 28 December 2002

The Family Law Legislation Amendment (Superannuation) Act 2001 (FL Super Act) provides for the payment splitting of a superannuation interest. Under the superannuation splitting laws, superannuation interests are treated as property for the purposes of property settlement on marriage breakdown. This means that people are able to make an agreement - known as a superannuation agreement - about how any superannuation interests that either party has are to be split in the event of marriage breakdown.

A superannuation agreement is like a more general financial agreement in which people can agree about how property other than superannuation is to be divided on marriage breakdown.  However, because superannuation interests are different to other property, there are special rules about what a superannuation agreement has to say.

Provided that a superannuation agreement complies with the legal requirements detailed in the superannuation splitting laws, the agreement is binding.  If a superannuation agreement is binding, then:

  • the trustee of a superannuation fund is required by law to implement it; and
  • the Court is not able to make an order about the superannuation interest that is dealt with in the superannuation agreement.

If people are unable to agree, then:

  • the Court is able to make an order, as part of a property settlement order, about how any superannuation interests are to be split; and
  • the Court order is binding on the trustee of a superannuation fund, who has to comply with it, provided that the legal requirements have been complied with.

Obtain valuation information from your Super Fund

You need to get information to value the superannuation. You should provide the following forms to the trustee of the superannuation fund:

Form 6 Declaration. This satisfies the trustee of the fund that you are entitled to get the information for this limited purpose, and

Superannuation Information Request Form (accompanied by the appropriate Superannuation Information Form).The superannuation fund may charge a fee for providing the information, and this is paid when you send the forms.

For more information on Consent Orders in Australia call Aussielegal on 1300 728 200.