Does my ex-partner have to reveal assets?
Does my ex-partner have to reveal assets? You are not disadvantaged if your ex-partner handled all the expenses during your marriage. When a relationship ends, it’s not uncommon for one party to know more about the finances than the other. As a result, it’s necessary for a separated couple to share financial information, so that each party has the full picture about their finances before making decisions about a family law settlement.
But does the ex-partner have to? Yes.
In family law, all parties are under a duty of disclosure when engaging in negotiations with their ex-partner, even if there are no court proceedings. This means that each party must provide relevant financial documents to the other party.
This obligation extends to all documents that the other party may not know about. As such, parties are not permitted to strategically withhold documents or information from each other.
Documents are routinely exchanged to:
- identify the current values of assets and liabilities in each party’s name,
- show how those assets and liabilities came about and
- prove, or disprove, different claims by the parties about matters that are relevant to the division of assets.
Common documents exchanged in family law negotiations include:
- tax returns,
- pay slips,
- bank account statements and
- superannuation member statements.
The duty of disclosure is an ongoing obligation. Both parties need to update their financial disclosure until the conclusion of their negotiations or court proceedings if their financial circumstances change or if more relevant documents are created.
If a party denies the existence of documents or refuses to disclose relevant documents or information during negotiations, there are court processes available to compel the production of documents, directed at both the refusing party and third parties who may hold the information.
Disclosure is a complex area of law and how it applies to your circumstance may be different than how it applies to a friend or family member. Our team can advise how the duty of disclosure applies in your circumstance and what options are available to you if your ex-partner does not provide you with required information. Give us a call on (03) 9793 7888 or send us an email at email@example.com.