Superannuation - What Happens If My Relationship Breaks Down?

Superannuation – What Happens If My Relationship Breaks Down?

If your relationship breaks down, family law allows you to split your superannuation just like your other assets. This option is available for spouses as well as couples in de facto and same sex relationships.

While it’s not mandatory to split your superannuation, you may decide to take this option if you agree to give your partner a portion of your superannuation as part of your property settlement.

It’s important to remember that even if you split your superannuation, normal restrictions on when you can access it will continue to apply. This generally means that you or your partner won’t be able to access your super until you reach retirement age.

You need your super valued

Before you decide if you want to split your super and how to split it, you need to know how much super you have.

If you need information about your partner’s superannuation, you can ask their superannuation fund. Under Australian law, the super fund cannot tell your partner that you requested this information.

Your options for splitting superannuation

You can then:

  1. enter into a binding financial agreement, or
  2. get court orders.

The first option is to enter into a written binding financial agreement that splits your superannuation after separation. You and your partner will each need your own lawyer who will sign a certificate that you received independent legal advice about the agreement.

Another option is to get orders from the court. If you and your partner can’t agree about how to split your super, you can choose to have a court hearing. The court will then decide how to split your super. Even if you start legal proceedings in court, you can still reach an agreement at any stage without needing to proceed to a court hearing.

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