Each party to a Family Law property and financial matter has a duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure. That is, there is a need to be transparent in terms of your financial circumstances in family law property and financial matters. This ensures that any agreement reached between parties, is made with each party having full knowledge of the other person’s financial circumstances so they can make an informed decision.
Chapter 13 of the Family Law Rules 2004 sets out what this requires of all parties. Put simply, the Duty of Disclosure requires all parties to a Family Law dispute to provide to each other party all information relevant to an issue in the case.
The following is a list of documents which a party to a property matter may be required to produce to other parties and if applicable, the Court, as part of their duty to provide full and frank disclosure. Such list is not exhaustive and the documents required for disclosure will vary from case to case:-
- Your tax returns and notice of assessment for the past 3 financial years.
- A copy of your most recent superannuation statement.
- Copy of bank account statements that you have an interest in for the past 12 months.
- Copies of all credit card statements that you have an interest in for the past 12 months.
- Copies of all mortgage account and/or loan account statements that you have an interest in for the past 12 months.
- If you own or control a business, the business activity statements for the past 12 months.
- In the event you have any interest in a corporation, trust or partnership, financial statements for the past 3 financial years.
- In the event you have an interest in a trust, the trust deed.
- If you are in receipt of any wage or salary payments, your 3 most recent pay slips.
- Details of any shares or investments that you have, together with any current shareholding statements.
Chapter 13 of the Family Law Rules also details the way in which you can comply with your obligation to provide full and frank financial disclosure which can include but is not limited to the following:-
- Production of documents
- Inspection of documents
- Answering specific questions
- List of documents
Sometimes, collating and producing financial documents and information can be onerous. Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers can help you with this, and explain what you do and do not have to produce. The exchange of financial information and documents in a standard first step in most matters as it allows a balance sheet to be drawn up and for the parties and their lawyers to establish what is available for division in the family law matter.
In Court proceedings, where a party fails to comply with their duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure penalties may apply which can include but are not limited to the Court making a costs order against you, the Court dismissing all or part of your application or the Court preventing you from relying on a specific document in your case.
Please contact Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers to discuss financial disclosure requirements and your family law matter generally. We are experts in this field.