NSW Bankruptcy after Separation - Does Ex have Claim on Partner's Superannuation?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

karen ghioni

27 July 2015
Hi. My partner has not divorced his wife who left him 4 years ago (separation). She left him with all the bills and responsibilities that went with it. The bills were in both names. He's a lovely person and took on ALL the bills and declared bankruptcy in his name.

His bankruptcy finalizes in August 2015. No property settlement was officially done, however he has a few handwritten pieces of paper that had a checklist of everything she wanted on it and it was checked off ( this can be confirmed by her adult children). He was (and his son) left almost destitute.

She is now coming out of the woodwork and trying to claim his superannuation monies. How can we stop this? Are we able to get some advice on whether we can show the bankruptcy amounts that were in both names and use this as some sort of incentive for her not to go ahead with her claim? She 'was' responsible for half the debts incurred during there 30 year marriage?

Some advice would be fantastic :/

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014
Hi Karen,

Your partner does seem like a lovely person. Generally, debts from a relationship should be shared between parties. However, there is no clear formula for this and there is no clean 50-50 split.

Your partner should really enter into a property division agreement with his ex wife. There is a limit on when this should be done, so it may be best to start thinking about divorce to re-start the clock. Superannuation benefits are included in the pool of "shared assets" to be divided between spouses. However, the division ratio will take into account debts contributed by both parties, debts paid off by each party, relative early capacities and a number of other factors.

I suggest your partner read up on what happens after separation. In particular, on property division. A good starting point would be this article: Property Settlement After Separation - Agree Now, Don't Pay Later - Blogs - LawAnswers.com.au.