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Law Council of Australia


Exposure Draft: Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2024

The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its Consultation Paper on the exposure draft of the Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2024 (replacement Regulations).

The superannuation splitting system is one of the more complex aspects of family law for parties to navigate. It sits at the intersection of family law, superannuation, and tax law, and involves dealings with third parties who are usually not joined as parties to the proceedings.

These complexities were recognised by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in its final report Family Law for the Future: An Inquiry into the Family Law System (Report 135):

The second issue is the treatment of superannuation, which, given its general inaccessibility prior to the preservation age, raises complex questions as to the appropriate treatment of superannuation on separation. Given that caring responsibilities are typically, but not always, borne by women, and can have a lifelong impact on earnings, property division on or following separation can be an important mechanism for addressing deficiencies in the accumulation of superannuation.1

Self-represented parties are at a particular disadvantage when dealing with superannuation. This was also recognised by the ALRC:

Notwithstanding these changes to the law, submissions confirmed that separating couples find superannuation splitting very difficult, particularly without legal assistance.2

However, this is an area where some relatively straightforward reforms could greatly assist parties (whether represented or self-represented), their lawyers and the Courts. To this end, we note the recommendations of the ALRC as they relate to a simplified process for splitting superannuation, and the Government’s response to those proposals.

Read the full submission below.

1 Australian Law Reform Commission, Family Law for the Future: An Inquiry into the Family Law System (Report 135, April 2019) at [6.39].
2 Ibid, at [6.22].


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