Have you ever been worried about your former spouse/de facto partner hiding assets? This is a common concern our clients have have following separation. With limited avenues available to discover these assets, it can be a significant issue in many family law matters.
That is why the recent introduction of the Visibility of Superannuation Laws is a helpful avenue available for parties involved in family law proceedings to understand what superannuation your former spouse/de facto partner holds in their name.
How can I get the information?
In order to make an application, your family law matter must currently be in either the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia or the Family Court of Western Australia.
You would then be required to complete a ‘Super Information Request Form’ and file it with the respective Court. Within the form you are required to list your former spouse/de facto partner’s full name, any known address and date of birth. Further information such as their phone number and email address will assist the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to obtain the superannuation information more efficiently however, those details are not necessary.
Once an application is made and the relevant court confirms your family law matter is being litigated, the ATO will provide all parties to the proceeding a letter advising either:
- An individual has been located and the superannuation fund/s has been found.
- An individual has been located and no superannuation fund/s has been found
- An individual has been unable to be located.
If a superannuation fund/s has been found and it is a certain type of superannuation fund, the letter will further outline the following:
- Superannuation fund name
- Superannuation fund ABN
- Superannuation fund unique superannuation identifier known as a USI (if applicable)
- Last reported balance
- Date of last reported balance
- Account phase.
It’s important to note that information may not be up to date, but at least it provides you with piece of mind that there are no hidden superannuation accounts. Once the initial information is obtained from the ATO, further searches can also be done to acquire additional information.
Ultimately, the process established by the ATO is a welcome change to the current laws, allowing for financial transparency following separation. Given superannuation can form a large portion of the overall property pool, this is extremely important to obtain faster and fairer property settlements.
How O’Loan Family Law Can Help You With Your Separation
Our goal at O’Loan Family Law is to resolve your family law matter amicably and by way of an agreement between you and your ex. This avoids unnecessary stress to you and your family, as well as avoidable legal fees.
However, it is crucial you have a clear understanding of what property your ex-partner owns. Therefore, if you feel unsure about whether your ex-partner has made appropriate disclosure, proceeding to court may be the only available avenue. We can assist you with strategies to obtain that information, including making an application through the ATO.
To begin the process with us, we offer an initial 15-minute complimentary call with a solicitor so that you can discuss your options moving forward.
We can advise and guide you to find the right resolution pathway for you and your family. O’Loan Family Law offers specialist family law advice, conveniently located in Lavender Bay on Sydney’s North Shore. Our value pricing service offerings include collaborative practice, assisted DIY separation and what we like to call, the traditional family law pathway. We’ve got your back.
About the Authors
Bron O’Loan is the Founder & Director of O’Loan Family Law and is an expert family lawyer and independent children’s lawyer. Bron has worked in Family Law since 2015 and is an experienced litigator and skilful negotiator in all family law matters. She is also an experienced speaker and best-selling author of The Splits – How to help your kids navigate separation and divorce.
Emily Nugara is a Solicitor at O’Loan Family Law and has experience in working with separating couples to ensure they reach an agreement. Emily has worked in Family Law since 2019, having worked as a family law paralegal in a large firm prior to her admission as a solicitor in 2022.
This post is an overview only and should not be considered as legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.