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Obligations of Financial Disclosure and Managing It

Obligations of Financial Disclosure and Managing It

Financial Disclosure is a key element in resolving property disputes during separation. It provides transparency and allows parties to negotiate and finalise their property division. The process of financial disclosure can be a daunting task that is ongoing until a final resolution is reached. Here are some ways of managing financial disclosure.

The first step is to obtain a list of the documents that you are required to produce.  The usual request for documents includes:

  1. Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment both for individuals, companies and trusts;
  2. Pay slips;
  3. Rental income statements from investment properties;
  4. Market appraisals;
  5. Employment contracts;
  6. Trust Deeds;
  7. Statements for all accounts held including bank accounts and share trading accounts;
  8. Superannuation statements;
  9. Financial Reports and BAS statements for companies and businesses.

Many of these documents can be provided by your accountant so it may be best to have them on board to assist you in the collation of your material.

At Lewis Family Lawyers we can also recommend working with organisations who assist parties to collate financial material to make the process a more affordable arrangement as opposed to having to speak with your lawyer about what is required to be produced.

There are many different ways that you can provide the documents to your lawyer.  These can include:

  1. Sending the documents by way of email or delivering them to their office. The lawyer will then collate and index the material so that it can be provided to the other party.
  2. Providing an electronic link to the material for your lawyer to download them, such as an electronic file management sharing platform.

It is always best to check with your lawyer how they prefer to receive the documents and what will be the most cost effective way to have them reviewed and collated.

As financial positions can change over time, it is important to keep your lawyer updated with any change in financial circumstances as it may be required to be provided by way of disclosure.  Such changes can include:

  1. Change in employment. If you are no longer working for the same company or your wages have changed, this could have an impact on your property matter and the information of your employer can become relevant.
  2. Receiving a windfall such as an inheritance, compensation payment or lottery win. It is important these payments are disclosed as they are relevant in a property division.  It does not necessarily mean that they will form part of the property division to be divided but not disclosing them can create significant issues.
  3. Selling an asset. If you sell an asset without disclosing this, there can be consequences which include a restraint on accessing the net proceeds or an injunction on the sale completing.  Discussing any potential sales with your lawyer is important and can assist in avoiding any adverse consequences.

Keeping the communication between you and your lawyer open is important and necessary to ensure you are complying with your obligation and duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure.

The risks associated with failing to disclose can result in negotiations being abandoned and even worse, the setting aside of any Orders.

If you are concerned about your financial disclosure obligations, contact Lewis Family Lawyers today.

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Lewis Family Lawyers

Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au

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Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au