1. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Soon de facto couples, like married couples will be able to split their superannuation after separation.
2. DOES THIS MEAN DE FACTO COUPLES MUST SPLIT THEIR SUPER 50/50?
No. it simply means that if one party may use part or all of their super to pay the other party out as part of a financial settlement. If there are other assets like a house or cash, a super split may not be necessary. The new legislation simply allows parties more flexibility in structuring a settlement.
3. DOES THE NEW LAW APPLY TO EXISTING SETTLEMENTS?
The Commonwealth Attorney- General’s media release of 24 October 2018 states that the legislation will be introduced in 2019 and super splitting to occur in 2020. Whilst we cannot rule out super-splitting occurring on existing cases, based on previous legislative changes we doubt existing cases would be included in the new regime.
4. DOES THIS MEAN I CAN GET ACCESS TO SUPER NOW AS PART OF MY SETTLEMENT?
Not unless you are already eligible. All this means is that a portion of one person’s super is transferred to the other person. The same rules re age apply.
5. IS THE NEW LEGISLATION A BIG DEAL?
For some people yes. Where the only major asset was super then undoubtedly some de facto partners suffered. However, in deciding whether settlements are “just and equitable” the Family court of WA always considers the percentage split including super. However, moving forward de facto couples will have the same flexibility that married couples have and that’s a good thing.
On the 25th of November 2015, The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data for Separation and Divorce for the last year (2014). They indicated that 4518 applications for divorce were granted in Western Australia. This was a significant (14.2%) decrease on the previous years figure of 5268 and the largest decline of all states and territories in Australia, with all recording decreases except one (Victoria).
The divorce statistics for Western Australia provided include the average divorce age, which for males was 45.7 years and for females it was 42.9 years of age.
2100 divorce applications were joint, while 1307 were female and the remaining 1111 were male.
The length of a marriage before Separation and Divorce
The median length of a marriage before separation in 2014 was 8.8 years, and to divorce it was 12.4 years.
Divorces involving children
The percentage number of divorces that affected children in Western Australia for 2014 was 48%.
In Australia in 2014 there were 46,498 divorces granted. This was a decrease of 1,140 (2.4%) from the 47,638 divorces granted in the previous year.
Throughout Australia in 2014, the highest proportion of divorces granted were for people aged 40-44 years (16.4% of males and 17.5% of females).
The median age of males divorcing was 45.2 years and 42.5 years for females, which continues to increase as it has for the past 20 years.
Applications for Divorce
Over the last 20 years, the proportion of applications by one applicant continued to decrease, while the proportion of joint applications for divorce has been increasing. The proportion of joint applications in 2014 remains the highest applicant type at 41.5% of all applications.
Visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics for further information on divorce in Western Australia and other states throughout Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest data for Separation and Divorce late last year. This data consisted of 2013 figures and show that 5268 applications for divorce in Western Australia were granted. This was an increase on the previous years figure of 5073 and went against every other state and territory in Australia, as they all recorded decreases.
Other divorce statistics highlighted included the average divorce age, which for males was 45.5 years, and for females it was 42.8 years of age.
2473 of these applications were joint, while 1491 were female and the remaining 1304 were male.
The average length of a marriage before Separation and Divorce
In 2013, the average length of a marriage before separation was 8.6 years, and to divorce was 12.4 years.
Divorces involving children
The percentage number of divorces that affected children in Western Australia is 47%.
Throughout Australia in 2013, the highest proportion of divorces granted was to people 40-44 years of age.
The median age of males at divorce was 44.8 years and 42.2 years for females, whilst the median age at marriage for those divorcing in 2013 was 28.6 years for males and 26.2 years for females. The median age at separation for those granted a divorce was 41.3 years for males and 38.7 years for females.
Applications for Divorce
Over the last 20 years, the proportion of joint applications for divorce has been increasing, while the proportion of applications by one applicant has continued to decrease. The number of joint applications in 2010 outnumbered male applications and female applications for the first time. The proportion of joint applications continued to increase in 2013 and remains the highest applicant type at 41.2% of all applications.
You can view all the statistics on divorce in Western Australia and other states here
ABC Radio National’s Law Report discussed an interesting Shared Parenting issue on it’s program last Tuesday 1st July 2014. Children under four spending time away for the primary carer is a strongly debated issue. The program looks at what Australian research actually says and how is it being used in the Family Court. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript here.
Shared Parenting – Family Court processes
Social science research plays a big role in Shared Parenting disputes, and it also has an influence in generating the public’s understanding. Bearing this in mind, it is always prudent to obtain the advice of a lawyer practising exclusively in the area of Family Law, such as Kavanagh Family Lawyers. Read more about how we can help you with shared parenting.
The Western Australian Government is examining key recommendations from a Law Reform Commission report which includes separating family and domestic violence orders from the existing Restraining Orders Act. The report recommends treating it as a criminal offence under the Criminal Code and creating clearer definitions of what constitutes domestic violence. An article, appearing on the West Australian website on June 25th, reports that as well as considering this recommendation, it also wants Cyber-stalking to be included in the legal definition of domestic violence.
Violence Restraining Orders – domestic violence orders
Whether you need to apply for the restraining order and are seeking to be protected, have orders made against you, or are charged with a breach, Kavanagh Family Lawyers can help.
Call Kavanagh Lawyers on (08) 6557 5888.
Kavanagh Lawyers’ principal, Marty Kavanagh, has just had his 20 annotations on The Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) published as part of a significant update to Dickey’s Family Law with Legislation. This new authored content provides concise annotations, and are structured to help practitioners reach the information they need as quickly as possible. Read more about the update here.
Marty Kavanagh and the lawyers at Kavanagh Family Lawyers have vast experience in dealing with restraining orders. We can provide advice and court representation at any stage in the process of obtaining or defending violence restraining orders and can assist in negotiating agreements in an attempt to reduce the stress that litigation can cause.
- Call Kavanagh Lawyers on (08) 6557 5888.
A long running battle over a Grandfather’s Will
This week’s Law Report on ABC’s Radio National highlights a recent decision in a NSW Supreme Court over a Grandfather’s Will, which included some strong words from the Judge in regards to the legal fight over a pastoral holding. Describing it as ‘a sorry case’, the Judge provided his decision on a long running battle between a mother and her son, after the son brought an action against challenging the will of the testator who was his grandfather. Listen to the audio and read the transcript here.
Kavanagh Family Lawyers can help will Wills and Inheritance
Kavanagh Family Lawyers have vast experience in drafting Wills. Our Wills lawyers explain how Wills should be made, address any issues that could arise from your wishes and ensure you have a correctly prepared Will tailored to suit your requirements.
- Call Kavanagh Family Lawyers on (08) 6557 5888 to speak to our Wills lawyers.
The West Australian newspaper has published an article on a Child Relocation Judgement made last week which allowed two WA children to move to Britain with their mother who was homesick. This was against their Perth-based father’s wishes, as Justice John Walters found it was “more likely” to be in the Chidren’s best interests. You can read the full article online here.
Kavanagh Lawyers Can Help with Child Relocation Orders
The team at Kavanagh Lawyers understand that many people, quite reasonably, are reluctant to engage in the legal process, particularly when they feel they have successfully reached agreement. The legal process can be very expensive in both financial and emotional terms so it’s important to be cautious in your approach. However, in considering whether you need to do anything else you may wish to consider the following:
- Is your agreement verbal or in writing?
- Is your agreement binding in law?
- Will communication between you and your former partner always be as good as it is now?
- What happens if you or your former partner marries or has a child with someone else?
- If your former partner breaches the agreement, what happens?
- Will you be able to agree on future schools, medical treatment and holidays (Christmas, School holidays) interstate and overseas travel?
The good news is that at relatively low cost (particularly relative to the cost of litigation) and quite quickly, Kavangh Lawyers can formalise Consent Orders and Parenting Plans between you and your former partner so they are binding and enforceable by law. Your Consent Orders can even be filed and pronounced final at the Family Court without you ever having to attend the Court.
Read more about what Kavanagh Family Lawyers Child Support and Custody here.
An article appearing in the West Australian newspaper and on its website talks about an incident relating to child custody.
A mother involved in a custody battle has been jailed for a year by the Perth District Court after she tried to falsify results of a hair drug test that was required to be submitted to the Family Court. She was concerned that the test would detract from her ability to retain her son’s custody.
You can read the article in full here.
Kavanagh Family Lawyers Can Help with Child Custody and Support
Kavanagh Family Lawyers aim to provide you with prompt and professional initial advice about your rights and obligations as a parent. Our Lawyers take professional obligation to “tell it like it is” and to be frank and honest very seriously. We will make sure you know where you stand and, if necessary, present your case at Court to the best of our ability.