Full and frank financial disclosure29-November-2010 Family Law By Mark Streeter
Handing over financial documents to an ex is hard
The need for full and frank disclosure by the courts often makes divorcing couples nervous. A common question is “Why do I have to give all my financial documents up to my ex-partner? I’ve been told I’ve got to get my tax returns and my bank account statements and give them to the other side!”
The reason behind this requirement is referred to as Full & Frank Disclosure. Family Law Dispute Resolution seeks to resolve disputes before they get expensive, adversarial and litigious. The Family Law Rules actually require parties to engage in an exchange of information, including finances, before they start proceedings in the Court.
The parties must make a genuine attempt to resolve the dispute before starting a case. Accordingly, in property and financial cases this will require the exchange of financial and taxation records, details of income, liabilities and any businesses, companies or trusts. The more complex the financial affairs are of the parties the more extensive these procedures will be.
A dispute may escalate if the parties do not trust one another and in the circumstances “assume” the worst. These worst case assumptions built upon worst case assumptions can make your negotiations very difficult. That’s why the philosophy, and justification, behind the implementation of these rules is to eliminate at an early stage as many of the uncertainties regarding financial matters as possible.
Yes it may seem hard to hand over documents but doing so actually reduces the time spent and therefore your legal costs.
Call me to arrange an appointment to work out your options.
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