WA de facto couples will be able to split super if relationship breaks down
The growing number of West Australians in de facto relationships will soon be able to split their assets “fairly” in the event of a break-up under long-awaited changes to how superannuation is dealt with in property settlements.
Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter will today announce the Government has agreed to amend the Family Law Act “as soon as possible” to allow the move, ending a decade-old stalemate with the WA Government.
Under current arrangements, de facto couples in WA are the only group in the country who walk away with their individual superannuation after a relationship breakdown.
In many cases, super is a couple’s second-biggest asset after the family home and men usually have bigger super balances, particularly when their partner has had time away from the workforce raising children.
Describing the situation as “fundamentally unfair”, Mr Porter said it had disadvantaged thousands, particularly women, in property settlements.
“If a woman has got $100,000 in super and there is $100,000 equity in a house, and the man has got $500,000 super, then the woman always comes out worse off than she would under any other situation in Australia — and that’s just not fair,” Mr Porter told The West Australian.