The superannuation splitting law treats superannuation as a different type of property. It allows separating couples (married and de facto) to value their superannuation and split superannuation payments, although this is not mandatory.
Splitting superannuation does not convert it into a cash asset – it is still subject to superannuation laws (for example, it is usually retained until retirement ages are reached).
Options for splitting superannuation
Separated couples may either:
- seek consent orders to split superannuation; or
- enter into a formal written agreement to split superannuation; or
- seek a court order to split superannuation (if you cannot reach an agreement with your former partner).
A formal written agreement requires that both you and your former partner instruct a lawyer who must sign a certificate stating that independent legal advice about the agreement has been given. Once this agreement is made, you do not need to go to court. The agreement is not registered in court and you must be careful that each of you retains a copy.
Even when an application is made to a court, it is possible to reach an agreement at any stage without the need for a court hearing.
We would be pleased to provide you with legal advice about these options, and which may be best for you.