Understanding Disclosure Obligations in Family Court Property Proceedings
In family court proceedings, transparency and fairness are paramount to ensure just outcomes for all parties involved. One essential aspect of this process is the duty of disclosure. 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 matter.
The process of disclosure is typically carried out during pre-court negotiations between parties with the goal of providing each party with a comprehensive understanding of the relevant information. This understanding facilitates the pursuit of a resolution before resorting to formal litigation.
What do I need to disclose?
The court requires disclosure of all sources of earnings, interest, income, property (vested or contingent interests) and other financial recourses. This is applicable whether the property, financial resources and earnings are owned by or come to the party directly, or go to some other person or beneficiary (e.g. de facto partner) or are held in corporations, trusts, company or other such entities.
The following link is a list of documents which are often required to fulfil your duty of disclosure. Family Law- Disclosure Document List
What if I don’t disclose the required material?
Failure to fulfil disclosure obligations can lead to various consequences. If you fail to disclose, the Court may:
- Stay or dismiss all or part of your case;
- Order costs against you;
- Fine you or imprison you on being found guilty of contempt of court for not, or disclosing the document or for breaching an undertaking of disclosure.
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