Much has been made of the recent developments for de facto couples in Western Australia, who are now a step closer to being able to split their superannuation entitlements following the breakdown of their relationship.
There has also been a recent development for married couples, providing for increased visibility of superannuation interests.
As of 1 April 2022, a party to a marriage may apply to the Court to request superannuation information from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) about their former spouse.
Such an application must be made in the context of existing Family Court proceedings.
In response to the application, the ATO provides the requested information to the Family Court, who pass that information to the requesting party, their spouse, and their legal representatives if applicable.
This process allows a spouse to efficiently identify superannuation interests held by the other party.
This is a welcome development for those who have concerns about superannuation assets being concealed.
Once the applying party knows the identity of each fund their spouse holds an interest in, they can obtain further information about the value of those interests by applying directly to the fund for that information.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, like superannuation splitting, this process remains unavailable for de facto couples in Western Australia.
For more information, see the below information on the ATO and Family Court of Western Australia website (current as at 1 June 2022):