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What is Financial Disclosure? Property Settlement Post-Separation or Divorce

What is the purpose of a Property Disclosure and what are your disclosure obligations? Find out more from the Sunshine Coast property settlement lawyers at Butler McDermott specialists in Family Law services.

After divorce or separation, a property settlement is often required. This can be a stressful process to complete during what is already a stressful time, particularly when you are directed to provide financial disclosure.

The purpose of this disclosure is to determine the value of the property pool that exists between you and your former partner so that it can be fairly evaluated and split.

Duty of Financial disclosure

During the property settlement process, both you and your former partner have a legal duty to provide your property settlement lawyers with a full and frank financial disclosure of your situation.

This means that you and your ex-partner must provide a complete picture to the settlement lawyers as to your respective current financial positions. If you or your ex-partner fails to disclose relevant information, and the matter ends up before the Law Court, there may be serious consequences, including:

  • The Court of Law may order the party in breach of their disclosure obligation to pay the other party’s legal costs, which could amount to tens of thousands of dollars;
  • The party in breach of their obligations may be barred from relying on an undisclosed document; and
  • The Law Court could dismiss an application made by the party in breach.

If your matter is currently before the QLD Law Court and you suspect that your former partner is withholding information, you could ask the Court to order them to produce the missing documents to the Court. Alternatively, your property settlement solicitor could file a subpoena with the Court, compelling a third party to produce the missing documents.

What do I need to disclose?

Relevant information includes the following below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; however, it provides an idea as to the breadth of information required during property settlement.

  • All assets and liabilities held separately and jointly
  • Financial resources such as a trust fund of which you are a beneficiary
  • Tax returns
  • Payslips
  • Evidence of any assets sold or disposed of near the end of the relationship
  • Superannuation statements
  • Bank statements
  • Any documents relating to any inheritances. 

What time period is relevant?

A common misconception is that financial disclosure is only required to reflect the parties’ financial positions up until the end of the relationship. However, the disclosure should also reflect the parties’ current positions. Even if 18 months have passed since separation, you and your ex-partner must include your most recent payslips and tax returns.

If you need assistance with the QLD property settlement process, the Family Law team at Butler McDermott Lawyers are here to help. Contact our property settlement lawyers in Nambour today at Butler McDermott Law Firm Sunshine Coast.

This legal news article is not intended to advise you in relation to your specific circumstances and should be used as a general guide only.

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