Weekly Snapshot Issue: 52 – 1 November 2019

Case we are reviewing… 

In Surridge v Surridge [2015] FamCA 493, the trial judge, Foster J, adopted a two-pool approach to the division of assets that included the wife’s pension being the discrete second pool with the primary pool with the primary pool consisting of the parries other superannuation and non-superannuation assets. 

The two-pool approach was intended to isolate the wife’s superannuation and dealt separately with the non-superannuation assets. In this case, the wife was in receipt of a hurt on duty pension fund pursuant to the police Regulation Superannuation Act 1906 (NSW).

She originally received $900 net per week increasing to around $1000 net week at the time of the trial. The ‘primary pool’ consisted of real property, chattels and the parties’ respective interests. 

The “secondary pool” consisted of the wife’s “hurt on duty” pension relating to her earlier employment as a police officer.

The trial judge’s orders divided the “primary pool” in the proportion 62.5 per cent to the wife and 37.5 per cent to the husband. His Honour also ordered that the husband receive five per cent of the capitalised value of the “secondary pool”, that is, the wife’s pension. The husband was credited with $20,000 representing what Foster J assessed as five per cent of the ascribed capital value of the wife’s pension.

Whilst the trial judge treated the wife’s pension fund only as a form of superannuation, it could also be treated as a source of income. The nature of the wife’s pension meant there was a duality of it being treated as both a source of income and a form of superannuation. This meant that the trial judge had the discretion of treating the wife’s pension fund as either a capitalised asset which could then be split.

It was then determined on appeal that the trial judge’s discretion of treating the wife’s pension as a capitalised asset was invalid and should have been treated as a financial resource and therefore not included in the asset pool.

On appeal the Full Court found that Foster J’s approach to the wife’s hurt on duty pension was erroneous and that the trial judge should not have included the pension in the asset pool. Their Honours stated that it was “a matter of significance and is productive of injustice.” The Full Court found that it was not just and equitable to make a splitting order in respect of the wife’s pension. 

Word of the week … 

Hiatus – a break in continuity; a gap in a series

In a sentence: After a three-year  hiatus, Simple Minds came back with a new CD

Life advice we are pondering…

‘Stop praying for things you don’t have the discipline to work for’.  

Ted Talk we are discussing…

In a recent seminar, we attended at F45 Blakehurst, neuro-psychologist Dr Roy Sugarman discussed the concept of intrinsic motivation and encouraged us to get a grasp of our values and incorporate them into our daily practices and life. Only then, he said can we be intrinsically motivated towards reaching our potential or goals. 

In this insightful video, Jan Stassen discusses why values matter and why we should invest the time to understand what it is we value.    

Masters of Success…


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