Duty of disclosure requires all parties to provide the Court and each other party all information relevant to an issue in the case. This includes information and documents that the other parties may not know about. This duty starts with the pre-action procedure before the case starts and continues until the case is finalised.
As a party, you must continue to provide information and documents as circumstances change or more documents are created or come into your possession, power or control.
Parties must make full and frank disclosure about their circumstances before the first court event. What is required varies depending on whether parenting issues or financial issues (or both) are in dispute.
Disclosure in financial cases
In these types of matters both parties are required to provide all information about their financial situation. The types of documents required in financial cases include but are not limited to:
- Payslip/income statements
- Bank account statements
- Taxation returns
- Superannuation statements
- Valuations and appraisals of assets
- Details of any financial resources and supporting documentation
- Details or interests in any company and/or trust and supporting documentation
- Details of assets disposed of leading up to separation and since separation
When preparing for financial discussions that involve children, you should collect receipts for expenses such as:
- School fees
- Childcare fees
- Health care costs
- Any other expenses such as music, sport or other activities
Disclosure in parenting cases
Parties are required to make full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to a parenting case, at all stages in a case. The relevant information and documents will be case specific.
For example, they may include:
- Medical reports about a child or parent
- The amount of time a child spends in a parent’s care
- School reports
- Letters and drawings by the child
- A diary
A party who has obtained an expert’s report for a parenting case is required to give a copy of the report to the other parties and the independent children’s lawyer (if appointed).
If you fail to disclose or file an undertaking or file a false undertaking, the Court may:
- Refuse to allow you to use that information or
- Document as evidence in your case
- Awarding a greater portion of the property pool to your spouse or partner as compensation
- 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 your undertaking
If you need family law advice and/or would like to see where you stand as the result of a current or impending separation, Wiltshire Family Law can help.
We offer a free initial consultation and have a highly trained, caring and compassionate team of family lawyers ready to assist you. You can contact us confidentially on 13 20 30.