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

Find out what financial disclosure obligations you need to meet when you’re leaving or divorcing your partner and engaging in the property settlement process.

After divorce or separation, a property settlement is often required.

Our Nambour family law solicitors here at Butler McDermott Lawyers Sunshine Coast know this can be a stressful process, 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 disclosure

During the property settlement process, both you and your former partner have a legal duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure. This means that you must provide a complete picture as to your respective current financial positions. If a party fails to disclose relevant information and the matter ends up before the Family Law Court, there may be serious consequences, including:

  • The Court 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 may be barred from relying on an undisclosed document; and
  • The Family Court could dismiss an application made by the party in breach.

If your matter is currently before the Court and you suspect that your former partner is withholding information, your family lawyers could ask the Court to order them to produce the missing documents to the Court. Alternatively, you could get your family lawyer to file a subpoena with the Court, compelling a third party to produce the missing documents.

What do I need to disclose?

Relevant information includes all assets and liabilities held separately and jointly, financial resources such as a trust 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, and documents relating to any inheritances. This list is not exhaustive; however, it provides an idea as to the breadth of information required during property settlement.

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 must include your most recent payslips and tax returns.

If you need assistance with a property settlement, the family lawyers in Sunshine Coast at Butler McDermott Lawyers Sunshine Coast are here to help. Contact our Nambour law firm today.

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

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Peter Boyce


Peter has been practising as a Nambour Solicitor since 1977 and joined Butler McDermott Lawyers the same year.

With over 40 years practicing as a Sunshine Coast lawyer, Peter has extensive knowledge of various facets of law.

He has practised in all areas of litigation and has special interests in:

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  • Sports law
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Peter has specialised knowledge of and experience with resumption matters as a result of the Traveston Dam project, road corridors, Main Roads and water pipeline. He is renowned for his professional approach and is an experienced and determined advocate.

Brent King


Brent works as a litigation lawyer, providing litigation legal advice in relation to both civil and criminal law matters, including:
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Having grown up on the Sunshine Coast and joining Butler McDermott after the completion of his studies, Brent appreciates the needs of our clients, and brings a particularly commercial approach to litigation. Brent is a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Sunshine Coast Law Association, and has litigated a wide variety of matters in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts.

Al Upton


After arriving at Butler McDermott Lawyers in 2016, Al quickly progressed to running our Wills and Estates section and has successfully litigated disputes in the Supreme and District Courts of Queensland in the early stages of his career.

In the years that followed Al has now moved to assist our clients with commercial and property matters having achieved positive outcomes in that area as well as general litigation. Al’s experience has him uniquely placed to provide quality advice in the areas of property, commercial, wills and estates and general litigation.

Al is involved in giving back to the community, sitting on the board for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and Sundale Community Foundation. He otherwise became a director of Butler McDermott Lawyers in November 2021.