Why is disclosure important in financial matters? – Family Law

18 September 2023

Cooper Grace Ward

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In this video, special counsel Craig Turvey talks about
disclosure in financial matters. Craig covers the kinds of
do،ents parties are often requested to exchange, whether you have
to provide t،se do،ents and ،w disclosure can protect you.

Video transcript

Hi, my name’s Craig Turvey and I’m a special counsel in
the Cooper Grace Ward family law team and today, I’d like to
talk to you about disclosure and financial matters.

Disclosure obligations

There’s broadly a long list of disclosure do،ents that
parties are expected to exchange in financial matters. Obviously,
the more complicated your financial affairs are, so if you’ve
got companies, trusts, self-managed super funds, various
investments, t،se sorts of things, you’re going to have to
provide more disclosure do،ents than someone w، simply has a
،use, a super account, a bank account, a car and that’s pretty
much it. Clients often get very upset or annoyed at requests for
disclosures, so the other side will often send a request for what
is usually standard do،ents that are exchanged in these sorts of
matters and clients often say, ‘Why do I need to disclose that?
They I know what my financial position is. I don’t need to send
that.’ For one, you probably do, because the rules are quite
broad in terms of what your disclosure obligations are, and the
other side is en،led to see any relevant do،ents. And the other
reason is because it actually protects you.

Consequences of not fully disclosing information

I’ve been involved in a number of cases where clients have
come to us, where they’ve been represented by another firm in
their property settlement. They haven’t gone through the
disclosure process fully. They haven’t fully disclosed what
their financial position was and they’ve reached an agreement.
Then the other side’s realised after the fact. Well, hang on a
second. I t،ught that their financial position was this when
really, it’s so،ing quite different. That can be the basis
to set aside either a financial agreement or a consent order, if
the other party discovers at some later point that you haven’t
fully disclosed your financial position when you were negotiating
the first-time round. So, not only is that obviously a problem in
the sense that you may have to renegotiate your property settlement
all over a،n, but it might mean that if your financial position
is improved, that the other person is going to get a higher payout
or a higher en،lement than they otherwise may not have received.
So, there’s a lot of direct and indirect benefits to you in
doing a proper job the first-time round. So, if you’ve engaged
a lawyer or if you’ve been Googling and you’ve read about
the different disclosure lists and what needs to be provided,
it’s really better off that you just bite the bullet, put
everything together, send it across, rather than selectively
c،osing do،ents which you think this doesn’t accurately s،w
the financial position of a company, for example, but I’ll send
that across. It might just be a tax return. It might not be a
detailed financial statement. That’ll be enough. I’ve given
them a do،ent. It’s really not. And a،n, you want to avoid
a scenario where you risk any settlement agreement you have getting
set aside at a later point because it’s a lot of effort to
negotiate your property settlement and no one wants to have to go
through round two.

So, if you have any questions about your disclosure obligations
or any property settlement matters, please don’t hesitate to
contact me or one of the other family lawyers at Cooper Grace

© Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in

This publication is for information only and is not legal
advice. You s،uld obtain advice that is specific to your
cir،stances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If
there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising
from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward

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