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What Is Disclosure In Property Settlement Matters?

  • Written by Viw Magazine

In property settlement matters, determining the ‘net property pool’ is essential. This includes evaluating all assets, liabilities, and financial resources acquired before, during, or after the relationship. The first step in establishing the net property pool is for the parties to share documents through disclosure.

What is Disclosure?

Disclosure is the process by which each party provides the other with all relevant financial and other information necessary to understand the net property pool available for division. This includes both direct and indirect financial circumstances.

Legal Obligations

According to Rule 6.01 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021, parties have an ongoing duty to provide full and frank disclosure of any relevant information that comes into their possession, power, or control. This duty begins at the start of negotiations and continues until the matter is finalized. Standard documents required for disclosure typically include:

  • Bank statements
  • Superannuation statements
  • Taxation returns and assessments
  • Payslips
  • Mortgage statements

Extended Disclosure Requirements

The duty of disclosure also includes providing evidence of any property disposed of since separation, such as the sale of a motor vehicle.

Consequences of Non-Disclosure

Failing to disclose required documents can result in court-imposed penalties, which may include a cost order in favor of the other party, fines, contempt of court charges, or receiving a smaller share of the asset pool. 

Importance of Disclosure

While collecting and distributing disclosure documents can be time-consuming, it is a critical procedure to ensure the matter progresses without delay and to avoid expensive and prolonged litigation.

Reach out to family lawyers in Byron Bay for help.

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