Navigating divorce and your super

Going through a separation is a painful and complicated time, so we’ve broken down a few things you’ll need to know about your super.

Read more about Splitting your super in a divorce and 3 super tips after a breakup

In this article, you'll learn:

  1. What happens to super in a divorce
  2. What you can claim in a separation
  3. Your super options
  4. Seeking financial advice — at no additional cost.*

Your super in divorce

Your super could be one of your biggest financial assets — and like any asset, it can be divided between you and your partner in a divorce or separation. When you get to the financial nitty-gritty, you’ll need to fully disclose your super balance in your pool of assets. It’s the same if you’re married, de facto, or in a same-sex relationship.

What you can claim

Your relationship is unique, and couples rarely split their financial assets in a 50/50 split. This is because walking away with what you brought into the relationship isn’t always fair. Plus, you and your partner may have different needs, financial goals and responsibilities after you separate.

Assess your financial situation

When preparing your settlement — whether voluntarily or by Court Order — you’ll need to list all your assets and liabilities, jointly and individually. In other words, you’ll need to put all your financial assets on the table, including your super. This means calculating the total value of your super, as well as what’s in your spouse’s account. You’ll also need to look at how much you’ve contributed to the relationship, both financially and non-financially.

What you’ve contributed to the relationship

It’s important to consider both the financial and non-financial contributions you and your partner have made to your relationship. Here are some examples.

  • Income
  • Super
  • Bank accounts
  • Investments
  • Property
  • Vehicles
  • Debts and liabilities, such as loans, mortgages and credit card debt.
  • Taking care of your children
  • Custody arrangements
  • Education and career — Will you be able to work after the separation?


Need more ideas? Have a look at this Divorce and separation financial checklist.

Your super options 

Split your superDefer your decisionLeave your super untouched

Splitting your super means dividing your and your partner’s super between you both, the same as your other assets.

Once you’ve worked out how much both you and your partner will receive — whether by agreement or by Court Order — and your super balances have been divided, it’ll stay in super until you meet a relevant condition or release, such as when you retire.

Why choose this option?

  • You and your partner want a clean division of assets
  • There are substantial super savings to be divided
  • You and your partner are both nearing preservation age
  • There’s a need for financial independence after your divorce.

Read Split your super in 3 steps.




Deferring, or deciding what to do with your super at a later date, is known as ‘flagging your super’.

Making a flagging agreement means you and your partner can decide what to do with your super at a later date, once the flag is lifted.

By putting a flag in place, you and your spouse won’t be able to withdraw or transfer any super until you both decide what to do or a Court Order has been made. This can be handy if one of you is approaching preservation age, or retirement.

Why choose this option?

  • You and your partner can’t agree on how to split your super
  • You and your partner aren’t sure about your financial needs or plans in retirement
  • You want to maintain flexibility and certainty until both parties can reach a mutual decision or obtain a Court Order.

After taking into account your financial situation, you and your partner may decide to leave your super benefits untouched.

Why choose this option?

  • You and your partner have low super balances, and the hassle may not be worth it financially
  • Complex financial circumstances or non-super assets make dividing your super unnecessary or impractical.






Before you make a decision

When deciding what to do with your super, we recommend seeking independent advice. You should speak with a licenced financial planner before making any decisions about splitting or flagging your super. You should also speak with a family lawyer about how the Family Law Act can affect your particular circumstances, and to help draft your official documentation.

Get super advice at no extra cost*

Going through a divorce is tough, emotionally and financially. That’s why we’re here to provide you with super-related advice over the phone — it’s included in your membership.*

If your finances are more broad than just super, you can also get in touch with a specialist planner who can help.^

We’re here to help

For more information, read our Super and family law fact sheet, call us on 1300 360 149 or request a call-back.

For more information, you can also read How to split your super in a divorce and 3 super tips after a breakup.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

^Advice is provided by one of our financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of Industry Funds Services Limited (IFS). IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514.

Information correct as at 1 April 2024.