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Family law amendment regulations 2001.

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ATTORNEY- GENERAL ___________________________________________________


THE HON DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP ___________________________________________________

9 October 2001 1068


Legislation that will allow divorcing couples to split their superannuation in the same way as their other assets will come into effect in the second half of next year. Regulations to facilitate this have now been made by the Executive Council.

These regulations will provide for the method of valuing a spouse's superannuation interest and some other technical matters, including the option for most funds of creating a new interest for a non-member spouse instead of splitting future superannuation payments.

Under the new laws, separating or divorcing couples will be able to divide superannuation by agreement - giving them the flexibility to settle their own financial affairs rather than engage in costly and protracted litigation - or by obtaining a court order.

This approach reflects the Howard Government's approach to helping people resolve their legal problems wherever possible without going to court.

Both an agreement and a court order dividing superannuation will be binding on a superannuation trustee, which will be required to divide payments when they become payable in accordance with the agreement or order.

The new laws will commence in the second half of 2002 to enable the superannuation industry to gear up for their information and administrative systems and for a range of educational activities to be undertaken on the reforms.

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