What is the duty of disclosure?

If you are part of an ongoing family law matter you will likely be required to provide disclosure to the other party.  Disclosure is the sharing of information between you and your ex-partner. It is an ongoing obligation that ends when your case does.

Disclosure includes but is not limited to information related to your assets, liabilities, and general finances.

During the family law process your solicitor will request you provide them with documentation related to your property and finances. This can include but is not limited to; pay slips, superannuation statements, credit card statements and property deeds.

The purpose of disclosure is to establish an equal footing between parties to allow them to understand and evaluate what assets and liabilities were accrued before and during the relationship.

This process assists the successful negotiation of a property settlement because then both parties will be fully informed as to the financial history of the relationship, and the current financial circumstances of their ex-partner.

If you or the other party fail to disclose the required information, this can mean delays in a successful negotiation in your matter and an increase in legal fees having to continually request disclosure.  An application can be made to compel disclosure, which can be a costly and complicated process.

The Law Society of Western Australia Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia Law Council of Australia Family Law Section