Why Full and Frank Financial Disclosure Is Crucial When It Comes to Divorce Proceedings

When a married couple separates, they must sort out their financial affairs. In many cases like this, they won't be able to agree, and the matter may proceed to a family court for judgement. So they have the right amount of information to make their decisions, judges will require both parties to provide documentation surrounding their financial affairs. This is called a "full and frank disclosure," and both parties must take this matter seriously. What does this phrase mean, and what can happen in the absence of proper disclosure?

Assessing the Size of the Property Pool

Before a judge can pass down orders that dictate how a property pool is divided, they'll need to know exactly what is available to fill up that pool. Assets can come in all shapes and forms, from money on one side to a property on another or from a business holding to stocks and shares. It's important to remember that all assets owned by the relevant party have to be disclosed and could form part of the joint property pool. It would be up to the judge to determine how to split those assets, and they'll take into account many different factors as they do so.

Continuing Obligation

While a full disclosure must be made at the outset of proceedings, this does not mean the obligation stops there. If other assets become apparent or circumstances change while proceedings are ongoing, then that party is obliged to provide updated information. This situation is ongoing until the judge makes an order and the matter can be considered final.

What Happens If You Don't Disclose?

If you fail to disclose certain assets as part of this procedure, it could certainly delay proceedings. Also, the court may take a dim view if they determine that you had knowingly tried to shield such assets, and they could order you to pay certain costs.

If it became apparent that you had shielded some assets after an order had been made, then the other party could apply to the courts to nullify those orders. This could be a considerable disadvantage to you, and it is therefore in your interest to ensure that you disclose it correctly at the outset.

Getting Advice

Of course, this can be confusing, and if you're unsure whether you need to disclose something, you should ask your lawyer for their guidance. They'll help you conform and keep up with your obligations, so you can conclude the matter as soon as possible and move on with your life. 

Contact a local divorce lawyer for more info. 

About Me

Workplace Law: What You Need to Know

My name is Ian. I used to work at a bank. However, I don't work there anymore. My boss was a bit of a bully. He would make jokes about me in front of other people in the office and would constantly criticise my work. I didn't know what to do. I was very unhappy. I mentioned the situation to my friend who recommended that I visit a lawyer as he thought I might have a case. I was a little apprehensive, but my friend supported me. Going to a lawyer was the best thing I ever did. The employment tribunal ruled in my favour and I was given an official apology and a compensation payout. I have now started a new job which I love. I decided to start this blog to educate others about workplace law.