Not Disclosing Financial Information During Divorce

Divorce can be a sensitive procedure for both parties, and disclosing financial information is probably the last thing you want to do in this moment. It can be perceived as invasive and unnecessary at first glance. However, it is also something you absolutely have to do (legally speaking).

It is very important to disclose your financial position in family law proceedings. The explanation has to be clear and comprehensive, as it will inform the way property and property cases are handled.

What should I disclose?

This usually encompasses any assets, income, interests or any financial means/resources you have direct or indirect access to.

This may include (but is not limited to):

  • Assets. This includes information on their appraisals/valuations.
  • Pay slips, or any other sources of income (such as Centrelink & Group Certificates)
  • Tax return
  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Loan statements
  • Superannuation statements

When should I disclose?

You should update your financial statements throughout your proceedings in a timely manner. This means that if the details in your original statement have changed, you are obliged to update them. This rule ceases when the court makes their final decision on this matter.

How can I provide disclosure?

Usually both parties request the list of documents they would like to disclose. These documents are then shared between the parties either online or in paper form.

What are the consequences of not disclosing?

There can be serious consequences for not providing full and frank disclosure, which may include jail time.

The most common penalties include dismissal of proceedings and the payment of proceeding costs for the other party. However, if the non-compliance persists, more severe punishments can include penalty costs, being held in contempt of court and even imprisonment.

Imprisonment is always seen as a last resort in family proceedings; however, such judgement can still be made if deemed as necessary (as seen in Campbell and Louis sentencing, 15 April 2021).

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s topic. Please, let us know what other procedures/questions you would like us to cover, and we’ll be back next week with another post! If you have any questions, use the form below and sign up for a free consultation.