It is necessary for parties to a family law dispute to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances. Each party must provide source documents relevant to verify their financial circumstances. If a case proceeds to court, it is expected that each party will prepare a summary of their financial position via a Financial Statement. The statement should include information about a wide variety of financial interests, including interests in property, whether vested or contingent, interests in a trust, as well as a party’s earnings.
The disclosure requirement extends beyond the parties’ interest in ‘property’ and also covers information about their income (including the income of any company they fully or partially own or control), financial resources and trusts. It is a requirement that parties account for any disposal of property. Full disclosure should also be provided about the parties’ liabilities or any entities under their control in the 12 months before and after separation.
If a party does not make full disclosure, or there is evidence that the party lied regarding his or her financial circumstances, the court may exercise its discretion in a manner adverse to that party’s interest.