Superannuation splitting laws allow superannuation to be divided when a relationship breaks down.
When a marriage or de-facto relationship breaks down property, including superannuation can be divided between the parties. Since the amendment of the Family Law Act in December 2002 superannuation has been treated as property under the Family Law Act. The law allows superannuation to be divided when a relationship breaks down. Superannuation can be split by a court order or a superannuation agreement.
Under the superannuation splitting law you can apply to the trustee of a superannuation fund for information about a superannuation interest of your former partner. You can get information about the value of the superannuation interest or information that will enable you to obtain a valuation of that interest. If a superannuation interest is in a self-managed superannuation fund you can seek details of the fund but are unlikely to get a valuation of the interest. There is no legal requirement that you get a valuation of a superannuation interest before making a payment splitting agreement. A payment splitting agreement can either specify a base amount or a percentage to be split.
A separating couple can also defer the making of a decision about splitting of superannuation interests by making a flagging agreement or seeking a flagging order from the court. A flagging agreement order will prevent the trustee of the superannuation fund from paying a member’s superannuation until the flag is lifted.
If agreement cannot be reached a court can make an order that effectively entitles a non-member spouse to either an amount calculated in accordance with the Family Law Act Superannuation regulations or a specified percentage of the superannuation interest.