Empty Nesters

Ruby and Max

Max and Ruby had been married for 35 years. They’d raised four children together and had seven grandchildren and counting. Ruby said, in the end, that they’d just grown apart. She had a few girlfriends who were going to travel overseas together, and she decided it would be nice to go along too. They owned their own home and had an investment property as well. Ruby had taken a number of years out of the workforce to care for and raise their four boys and had intermittently worked part time, leaving Max the main breadwinner throughout the relationship.

As a result of their respective roles, Max had accumulated considerably more superannuation than Ruby had but he recognised her contribution to the family and understood that it was only fair for some of his superannuation to go to her.

Both the properties were worth a similar amount in the end, and since Ruby wanted to live next to the ocean where she’d grown up, it was decided that she’d retain the investment property near the beach and Max would keep the house in the city.

In order for there to be a division of Max’s superannuation, there had to be court orders obtained from the Family Court and the Trustee of Max’s superannuation fund had to approve the proposed orders before they were made. Also, Max and Ruby wanted to avoid the stamp duty implications that would otherwise have arisen when the city house was transferred from joint names to Max’s sole name and when the beach house was transferred from joint names to Ruby’s sole name.

It made sense then to get consent orders, even though Max and Ruby were amicable and reached a ready agreement about how things should be divided. They saved an enormous sum of money in stamp duty and had their agreement quickly and efficiently made into court orders in the space of less than a month. It took only a further month to get the property transfers completed and Ruby was on her way overseas.