Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs

    De facto couples now captured under superannuation splitting laws

    18/08/2022 3:20 PM
    • New laws pass through Parliament allowing separating de facto couples in WA to split their superannuation
    • More than 200,000 Western Australians are in de facto relationships
    • Long-awaited reform will bring WA in line with the rest of Australia

    Western Australian separating de facto couples will be able to split their superannuation in the same way as their eastern States counterparts following the passage of new laws through State Parliament.


    There are more than 200,000 Western Australians in de facto relationships. The long-anticipated reform will mean they are no longer disadvantaged with regard to splitting superannuation assets in the event that their relationship breaks down.


    Prior to the reform, the Family Court of Western Australia was unable to make an order splitting superannuation assets when it came to de facto couples. This was in contrast to married couples in WA, as well as married and de facto couples elsewhere in Australia.


    The substantive provisions of the new law, although passed, will commence on a date to be proclaimed by the Governor.


    The State and Federal Government are working together to ensure the new WA law and Federal law needed to implement these reforms, now both passed, are proclaimed at or about the same time.


    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:


    "WA has finally joined all other Australian jurisdictions in allowing separating de facto couples to split what is often their largest asset - superannuation.


    "For too long outdated arrangements meant de facto partners in WA could not split their superannuation in the event of a separation.


    "Instead, each partner walked away with their individual superannuation account balance - no matter how disproportionate they were - leaving women overwhelmingly disadvantaged.


    "This often created severe injustices where there were not enough other assets to help make a fair division of property between the splitting de facto partners.


    "I am pleased that the McGowan Labor Government has been able to right this historical wrong."


    Minister's office - 6552 6800