As of 1 April 2022, changes to superannuation laws have made it easier for parties to family law proceedings to access the superannuation information of their current or former partner. Superannuation represents a significant asset for many parties, frequently contributing to a large portion of the overall asset pool in property settlements. While the existing process of accessing information directly through Super funds will remain in place, parties have faced difficulties where there has been a failure to provide accurate and complete superannuation information.
Under the Visibility of Superannuation measure, amending Division 344 of Schedule 1 of the Taxation Act 1953, a party to family law proceedings can apply to the Court to request the other party’s superannuation information from the Australian Tax Office. After comparing information from the request with ATO records, the Commissioner may then disclose relevant Superannuation information to the court for the purpose of proceedings.
These amendments are expected to reduce the time, cost and difficulty for parties seeking superannuation information of their current or former partner, ultimately making it harder for parties to hide or fail to disclose their superannuation assets. Ultimately, the amendments will assist more separated couples in the division of their property, helping to alleviate the unequal and frequently unjust financial hardship that may be experienced after separation.
Contact our team of specialist Sydney family lawyers to assist you in understanding these new changes.