- Australian Government is drafting new laws to make it easier for parties in a divorce to access information about super
- The new information-sharing process will make it harder for parties to hide or under-disclose their superannuation assets
- The draft legislation authorises the ATO to disclose super information to court
Draft legislation introduced by the Australian Government could enable parties in divorce cases and other family law proceedings to have fairer access to information about their partner’s superannuation assets.
This comes after the then Minister for Women announced this as a priority measure, as part of the inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement released on 20 November 2018.
The Australian Government provided $3.3 million to the ATO to develop and implement a secure electronic information sharing system that would allow superannuation information to be safely shared with the family law courts for the purposes of this information being disclosed to parties to a family law matter.
The draft legislation provides for a party in family law property proceedings in the Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Family Court of Western Australia to apply to the court to request information about the identity and value of their former partner’s superannuation assets from the ATO.
It will also authorise the ATO to disclose this superannuation information to court registry staff for the purpose of relevant family law proceedings.
The new information-sharing process will make it harder for parties to hide or under-disclose their superannuation assets in family law proceedings, and will reduce the time, cost and complexity for parties seeking accurate superannuation information.
It will support more separated couples to divide their property, including superannuation, on a just and equitable basis, and help alleviate the financial hardship and unequal retirement income outcomes that people, particularly women, can experience after separation.
You can view the draft regulations here.