The Challenge of a Small Property Pool But Large Super
The court recently considered a case where the assets of the parties were modest in value. It included vehicles, credit cards, and some personal loans, by contrast, the superannuation of the parties totalled almost $900,000.
Of the super amount, the husband had around $780,000 in a ‘defined benefit fund’ and a small ‘accumulation fund’. The wife had about $45,000.
The husband and the wife cohabited for approximately 12 and a half years and they had 3 children together, who lived predominately with the wife.
When they commenced their relationship, the husband already had some accumulated superannuation, the wife admitted that the husband had made a greater financial contribution. The wife argued, however, that this contribution was equaled out by her post-separation contributions, including care of the children which allowed the husband to continue working and increase his superannuation.
The court found that the wife had contributed 45% to the husband’s superannuation interest and made an order that the wife receive a ‘super-split’ from the husband’s superannuation interest of 45% and that the wife retain her superannuation interest. Overall, this equated to a super split of 47.7% to the wife.
This case highlights several points, most importantly that superannuation is property and it can be split. It is also important to keep in mind that when sharemarkets fall (as they have recently) that impacts superannuation values. It is important to keep up to date with superannuation values when looking to finalise a property settlement.
To speak about superannuation in property settlement with one of our experienced Family Lawyers in Brisbane today, please call (07) 3221 4300 or fill out our form online to arrange your initial fixed-fee consultation.