Law Firm - Gold Coast - Disclosure Obligations and Failure to Disclose

Disclosure Obligations and Failure to Disclose

July 29, 2016

Disclosure is required by both parties to Family Law Property Proceedings and Agreements. The Family Law Rules 2004 require that your disclosure is full and frank and relates to all facets of your financial position.

This means, when you and your former spouse or de facto partner are progressing through the process of a property settlement following separation or divorce, you are required by law to provide all information and documents in your control or possession that evidence your financial position and net worth. This includes, but is not limited to your:

  • Personal or business income;
  • Pensions or superannuation funds;
  • Financial resources including child support, trusts or other payments;
  • Business/company holdings;
  • Investment holdings;
  • Real property;
  • Vehicles and watercraft;
  • Winnings, inheritances, compensation, payouts or claims;
  • Other assets in your control or possession; and
  • Debts and liabilities.

You must disclose all details of the above matters to your spouse or partner regardless of their previous knowledge of or involvement in your financial matters. This applies whether the property, financial resources or earnings are owned by you, come to you directly, or go to some other person or beneficiary. You must also disclose interests that you hold jointly with any other party including property or interests in property that are held by you and your spouse or de facto partner.

Additionally, you are required disclose all information about property that has been disposed of by you or with your authority or permission (whether by sale, transfer, assignment or gift) that occurred in the year immediately before your separation.

If you do not disclose all matters relevant to your financial position and/or you attempt to put assets out of the reach of the Court or the property settlement the Court has the power to reverses various transactions or impose serious penalties for your conduct including;

  • A greater portion of the property pool being awarded to your spouse or partner to compensate for your conduct;
  • An Order that you pay your spouse or partner’s legal costs; or
  • You may be found guilty of contempt of Court and be fined or sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

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