On 27 November 2019, the Federal Parliament introduced a Bill to finally allow separated Western Australia-based de facto couples to transfer superannuation entitlements between them for the purpose of property settlement.
To date, Western Australia’s state legislation (The Family Court Act 1997) has prohibited superannuation transfers between separated de facto couples. In many cases this has made the ability to achieve a fair and equitable division of property difficult to achieve. This has particularly been the case where there is substantial debt, off-set by significant superannuation entitlements which cannot be accessed.
The Family Law Amendment (WA De Facto Superannuation Splitting and Bankruptcy) Bill 2019 will finally end the frustration and allow us to conduct property settlement for de facto couples like it is in other states of Australia.
It is expected that the Bill will pass, following which Western Australia must enact specific legislation to support the operation of the new features of this Bill within the family law system.
The Bill also enables de facto couples to manage bankruptcy and family law proceedings in the same court; currently these must be heard in two separate courts.
Dimond Family Lawyers welcomes a new era of consistency between Australian states in relation to separated de facto couples.