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More often than not during property settlement matters, disclosing financial material can become a long drawn out and at times expensive process, especially when one party is reluctant to provide superannuation statements.

In late May 2021, the Government released draft legislation and explanatory material that amends the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and the Family Law Act 1975 to facilitate the identification of superannuation assets by parties to family law proceedings, leveraging information held by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The draft legislation provides for either party to a 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 their former partner’s superannuation information from the ATO.

The draft legislation will also authorise the ATO to disclose superannuation information to Court registry staff for the purpose of use by the parties for 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 from one or more superannuation funds, or by subpoenaing employment records.

If you need assistance with your property settlement, please contact us.