The Morrison Government has today passed through Parliament legislation to improve the visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measure No. 6) Bill 2021(Schedule 5) will allow the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to release superannuation information to a family law court upon request.
To obtain this information, an applicant will have to be a party to a family law property proceeding and apply to a family law court registry to request their former partner’s superannuation information, held by the ATO. Parties will then be able to use this information to seek up-to-date superannuation information from their former partner’s superannuation fund.
Superannuation is an increasingly significant asset in the property pool for separated Australian couples.
These amendments will make it harder for parties to hide or under-disclose their superannuation assets in family law property proceedings, and will reduce the time, cost and complexity for parties seeking information about their former partner’s superannuation.
Access to this information will better support separated couples to divide their property on a just and equitable basis. This will help alleviate the financial hardship and negative impact on retirement incomes that women in particular can experience after separation.
Parties to property proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 will be able to apply to family law court registries for access to superannuation information from 1 April 2022.
The Bill and explanatory material is available on the Parliament of Australia website..