Financial disclosure compels parties to provide information on their assets.
When you have separated you will often need to reach an agreement as to who gets what.
Under the Family Law Act 1975, it is the obligation of each party to provide “full and frank disclosure” of all of their assets, liabilities, superannuation interests and financial resources.
The disclosure of information required extends to paper documents (e.g. bank statements and tax returns), information stored on a computer device or any information which the other party may not know about. Disclosure must be made in relation to the parties current direct and indirect financial matters. This means that information relating to earnings, interest, property and income must also be disclosed. Any property that has been disposed of by way of sale, transfer or gift immediately prior to separation or after separation must also be disclosed, so as not to deplete any claim.
In the event of non-disclosure, it is possible to conduct Property Searches and Company Searches to determine ownership or involvement.
Alternatively, if your spouse has not complied with the disclosure obligations, once court proceedings have been initiated, a subpoena for the production of documents (e.g. to a bank), a subpoena to give evidence (e.g. from an accountant with knowledge of the relevant party’s financial circumstances) or both can be granted by the court.
If you enter into a Binding Financial Agreement and there has not been full and frank disclosure it will likely cause the agreement to be set aside.