Table of Contents

How Long After Divorce Can You Claim Superannuation?

How Long After Divorce Can You Claim Superannuation

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, with many financial aspects to consider. One crucial element is superannuation, which often represents a significant portion of a couple’s assets. In this guide, we will look into the intricacies of superannuation in the context of divorce, addressing key questions such as when and how you can claim superannuation after a divorce. We’ll also explore related topics like contribution splitting, tax considerations, and more.

Divorce And Superannuation

Superannuation is not exclusive to legally married couples. De facto couples, who are in a genuine domestic relationship, are also entitled to claim superannuation in the event of a relationship breakdown. This includes couples who have lived together on a genuine domestic basis for a continuous period of at least two years.


What Is Superannuation?


Superannuation in Australia refers to the country’s retirement savings system. It’s a mandatory savings scheme designed to help Australians save for their retirement. It operates on a combination of employer contributions, personal contributions, and government incentives.


Here’s a breakdown of how it works:


  • Mandatory Contributions: Australian employers are required to contribute a percentage of their employees’ earnings (currently 10% as of my last knowledge update in September 2021) into a superannuation fund. This is known as the Superannuation Guarantee (SG).
  • Voluntary Contributions: Individuals can also make their own contributions to their superannuation fund. This includes both concessional (before-tax) contributions, like salary sacrifice, and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions.
  • Government Contributions: The government may provide incentives to encourage individuals to save for their retirement. This includes the co-contribution scheme for low to middle-income earners.
  • Investment: Superannuation funds invest the contributions into a range of assets like stocks, bonds, property, and other investments with the aim of growing the fund over time.
  • Tax Benefits: Superannuation is tax-favored in Australia. Contributions are generally taxed at a lower rate than normal income tax, and earnings within the superannuation fund are also taxed at a concessional rate. Additionally, there can be tax benefits when individuals start drawing down on their superannuation in retirement.
  • Preservation: Superannuation is generally preserved until an individual reaches their preservation age (which varies depending on the year of birth) and meets a condition of release, such as retirement.
  • Payout Options: When an individual reaches retirement age, they have several options for accessing their superannuation. They can take it as a lump sum, set up an account-based pension, or choose a combination of both.

Superannuation is a significant part of most Australians’ retirement planning. It’s designed to provide financial security in retirement and reduce reliance on government-funded pensions.


Transferring Super to Spouse


In cases of divorce or relationship breakdown, the division of assets, including superannuation, is a vital aspect of the property settlement process. Superannuation can be transferred between partners through a process known as contribution splitting. This allows a portion of one partner’s superannuation to be transferred into their former spouse’s superannuation fund.


Contribution Splitting and Its Benefits


Contribution splitting is a mechanism that enables couples to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of retirement savings. This process can be done through a consent order or as part of a property settlement. It’s important to note that there are limits, such as the concessional contribution cap, which restricts the amount that can be transferred in this manner.


Claiming a Tax Deduction on Super Contributions


Both members of a former couple may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for super contributions. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may not have the same earning capacity or who are re-entering the workforce after a period of absence due to the relationship breakdown.


Preservation Age and Conditions of Release


Accessing superannuation is subject to specific conditions, such as reaching the preservation age and meeting a condition of release. The preservation age varies depending on the year of birth and is a critical factor in determining when one can access their superannuation. Common conditions of release include retirement, reaching age 65, or meeting specific eligibility criteria due to permanent incapacity.

It’s important to distinguish between de facto relationships and legally married couples when it comes to superannuation. The rules and regulations governing superannuation may differ, and understanding these distinctions is crucial in navigating the complexities of post-relationship financial arrangements.


Splitting Superannuation in Managed Super Funds


Managed super funds are a common vehicle for retirement savings. When it comes to dividing superannuation in the event of a relationship breakdown, these funds provide a structured framework for contribution splitting. It’s advisable to seek professional advice to ensure compliance with relevant legal and tax requirements.


Personal Contributions and Salary Sacrifice Contributions


Understanding the types of contributions made to a superannuation fund is essential in the context of divorce. Personal contributions refer to contributions made from after-tax income, while salary sacrifice contributions are made before tax is deducted from income. Knowing the nature of contributions can impact the way they are treated in a property settlement.


Timing Matters: How Long After Separation Can You Claim Superannuation?


The timing of when superannuation can be claimed after separation depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the relationship breakdown, the superannuation fund’s policies, and legal requirements. Seeking professional advice early in the process can help ensure that all relevant deadlines and conditions are met.

Divorce Lawyers Sydney

Send An Online Enquiry

“Thank you Lyons Law Group on providing me an exceptional service delivered with care, compassion and a high level of professionalism. The outcome was more than what I had expected. A true reflection of your legal expertise and experience. Thank you Mohammad and team.”
Layalle Itaoui

Legal Advice Divorce Lawyers Sydney

Divorce and relationship breakdowns are complex, emotionally charged events that necessitate careful consideration of financial matters. Superannuation, as a significant component of retirement savings, requires special attention. Understanding the intricacies of claiming superannuation after divorce, contribution splitting, tax implications, and other related topics is crucial for ensuring a fair and equitable division of assets. Seeking legal advice from leading family lawyers can provide valuable guidance in navigating this process and securing one’s financial future.


If you require urgent legal advice regarding a divorce or financial settlement, contact our divorce lawyers Sydney. We can provide you free legal advice for up to 15 minutes and review your case.

Our Recent Articles

What Our Clients Say About Us

Stephan ConstantinStephan Constantin
10:02 19 Apr 24
A very professional team, great help
Mansoor RamzanMansoor Ramzan
16:17 15 Apr 24
Lyons Law Mohammed khan,hijran, and the team have done the fantastic work.The team is really knowledgeable, professional, and capable of doing the law work.I highly recommend Lyons lawyer and especially Mr. Khan.
Lyons lawyers, principal solicitor khan, Hijran and the staff have been absolutely fantastic, friendly and efficient in handling my DV matters.The team is thoroughly professional, highly knowledgeable and I couldn’t recommend them enough. If you are in need of a law firm that genuinely cares, I highly recommend Lyons lawyers.
Maan TVMaan TV
20:34 31 Jan 24
Best lawyer ,very kind and corporative staff. 100% satisfactory results.
Liv MLiv M
03:52 16 Jan 24
Md SajibMd Sajib
09:47 10 Jan 24
Nuralam MiaNuralam Mia
03:17 10 Jan 24
Md RiponMd Ripon
04:31 07 Jan 24
Nur MohammadNur Mohammad
11:02 05 Jan 24
Mshafiq786 ShafiqMshafiq786 Shafiq
10:26 26 Dec 23
08:29 26 Dec 23
King AhmedKing Ahmed
04:00 26 Dec 23
Hijran has been the best and nicest lawyer there is
Muhammad Aslam sajidMuhammad Aslam sajid
10:41 20 Dec 23
Hani MakkiHani Makki
01:56 20 Dec 23
I engaged Hijran from Lyons Law. She was fantastic. She studied my case closely, even after understanding my record was well below average She decided to assist me. She conducted herself well, was always prompt, professional and helpful. She explained my best and worst outcome. She worked diligently and got me the best outcome NO CONVICTION!!! I would like to extend my gratitude to Hijran. Thank you so much.
Anowar SorkarAnowar Sorkar
01:25 20 Dec 23
Sana MollahSana Mollah
02:04 17 Dec 23
Aiyub Ahamed JabinAiyub Ahamed Jabin
13:54 15 Dec 23
MdAbul HossainMdAbul Hossain
02:23 15 Dec 23
Younus RahamanYounus Rahaman
22:49 12 Dec 23
SHAHIN HossainSHAHIN Hossain
11:49 08 Dec 23
Rubel HossenRubel Hossen
01:29 08 Dec 23
Aman UllahAman Ullah
03:15 06 Dec 23
Dennis BernalDennis Bernal
08:18 05 Dec 23
Lyons Law Group provides such a holistic experience. Such exceptional services and could not recommend, Mohammad, Hijran and the team enough. Sound communication and always going above and beyond. The team represented a family member of mine that achieved the best outcome because of the quality of work and time invested into the matter. From my family, to the dream team at Lyons Law Group, thank you!
Rezaul karim RanaRezaul karim Rana
01:47 03 Dec 23
MD. Ramim HassanMD. Ramim Hassan
09:27 30 Nov 23
hridoy hasan pipluhridoy hasan piplu
04:36 29 Nov 23
PM. ParvejPM. Parvej
04:49 27 Nov 23
03:55 26 Nov 23
Md Ismaile hossenMd Ismaile hossen
10:46 25 Nov 23
MD SohelMD Sohel
10:33 25 Nov 23
Sheikh SajibSheikh Sajib
10:12 23 Nov 23
Your MotherYour Mother
07:13 20 Nov 23
02:22 23 Oct 23
"Absolutely fantastic lawyer! Enis Erdem is a true professional who handles cases with skill, dedication, and genuine concern for their clients. He kept me informed throughout the entire process, making sure I understood every step. Enis Erdem is not only knowledgeable but also empathetic, which made a stressful legal situation much more manageable. I can't thank him enough for their outstanding work!"Highly recommended
Bahaddin DibBahaddin Dib
04:59 10 Oct 23
I had Mr khan who is the principal solicitor represent me today, Mr khan fought for me all the way and got me the best result possible. I would highly recommend him for all your law matters and can confidently say that he strives his best for his clients.
Mash HasanMash Hasan
00:38 21 Sep 23
Thank you so much. Great team of criminal defence lawyers.
Joanna StobinskiJoanna Stobinski
02:18 03 Sep 23
I found Lyons Law to be pro-active and easy to work with when dealing with the recent court case of my son.
Joseph BorgJoseph Borg
22:50 02 Aug 23
Mohammad and the team at the Lyons Law Group are a great to work with, they are polite and go above and beyond to help. We are very happy with the assistance they provided our family. I'd highly recommend the team at Lyons Law Group!
Shofiul AzamShofiul Azam
03:32 19 Jul 23
Mr Khan has extensive knowledge of the law and I am very much delighted about his service.
Julie NJulie N
07:12 11 Jul 23
Mohamad and Hijran are professional and straight to the point team. Highly recommended.
samdani gsamdani g
05:35 22 Jun 23
Very friendly and hard working
Mohammad and his time are the greatest criminal lawyers I have dealt with, they are extremely professional and can assist with any cases, big or small.
DR BernoussiDR Bernoussi
04:16 07 Mar 23
Mr Khan was so polite and helpful in directing me to the best possible outcome for my situation. The amount of support and knowledge they offered me was next to none. I didn’t feel like I was being mislead or looked at like a piggy bank. Mr khan and his team have your best interest into getting the best outcome. Pleasure guys kind regards Dr bernoussi
Natasha SusmanNatasha Susman
09:20 26 Jan 23
Lyons Law Group is honestly outstanding ! Hijran especially, not only is she so professional but she does her best and always is there to answer all questions with such understanding. Hijran honestly goes above and beyond and I'll forever be grateful. I highly recommend Lyons Group.
steve .H.steve .H.
16:59 26 Dec 22
A big thank you to Lyons law group, very professional. Mohammad was exceptionally well and handled my case amazing as well as Hijran!!! They really care about your case, I highly recommend this company!
Norris “Chuck” LuNorris “Chuck” Lu
04:15 30 Nov 22
I cannot express my gratitude to the Lyons law team with a big special mention to Mohammad. Having spent the last few years enduring and coping with the most difficult and stressful situation of me and my family's life.I have been using Mohammad and the team at Lyons Law from day one. They guided us through each difficult process in the most professional manner with full transparency, care and compassion.Through each difficult process up to the very last moment they only delivered results that exceeded every and anything we could have expected. Every outcome was exactly as planned and in turn got amazing results.So once again I cannot recommend Mohammad and the team at Lyons law enough. So like I and my Family did, have confidence that Lyons law will always strive for and deliver the best possible outcome.
Omar MOmar M
01:31 16 Nov 22
A BIG thank you to Lyons Law Group with helping me achieve the best outcome for my case. From day one they were very professional, straight to the point and very easy to communicate with, keeping me updated and informed with everything I needed to know. Honestly, exceptional service and support.Thank you once again to Mohammad & Team.
Edward HindsEdward Hinds
05:59 07 Nov 22
Lyons Law Group is amazing. They are very professional, sympathetic, and helpful. I was kept informed during every step. The level of support was second to none. Mohammad went above and beyond and updated me regularly. Hijram too was amazing. Her calls and court representation made me feel at ease. This was a great experience. I cannot recommend Lyons Law Group enough. My gratitude extends to all involved in the handling of my case.


  • Lyons Law Group | Criminal Defence Lawyers

    Lyons Law Group is a boutique firm of expert criminal solicitors and barristers. Lyons Law Group is dedicated to strong advocacy when representing its clients with an approach that is tailored to every client’s specific needs.