Have a letter asking you to hand over personal documents for a property settlement matter? What is that all about and do you need to provide them?
The short answer is – yes!
The exchanging of documents in a property settlement matter is known as Disclosure. There is a duty and an obligation on parties in a property settlement dispute to make full and frank disclosure of information and documents that are relevant to any issues in dispute in the matter and that are relevant to their financial circumstances.
The exchange of disclosure documents will assist in determining the proper value of the property pool available between the parties for division. The documents will also help your lawyer figure out what likely adjustments you might be able to seek in your favour due to contributions you have made during a relationship.
Disclosure is exchanged even if your matter is not in court. The duty to exchange the documents actually forms part of the pre-action procedures that are mandated by the Court.
So for property matters parties are required to disclose all sources of earnings, interest, income, property and other financial resources. A party is also required to disclose information and/or documents about property that has been disposed of or transferred following the separation.
If your matter sadly ends up before the Court to determine then you will be required to file an Undertaking which tells the Court you have made disclosure of what you are supposed to. There are consequences for not complying with your duty of disclosure.
So if you happen to receive a letter in the mail or your inbox from your former spouses lawyer asking for your documents, do not be alarmed. It is standard practice.
Your former spouse will also have to provide you with the same documents that you are being asked to disclose. The request is likely the start of the property settlement negotiation process for you. You can get legal advice about what you should be disclosing and it is always a good idea to get legal advice about what specific entitlements you might receive by way of property settlement.
Tune in and have a listen as our Senior Associate Dannielle Young talks about disclosure in property settlement matters and lists the types of documents that you might expect to be asked for.
Here at Collective Family Law Group we can help you with the disclosure and negotiation process and guide you to a settlement. We prefer to guide parties through these processes and to a settlement either by negotiation or mediation to avoid unnecessary stressors and financial burdens that litigation brings.
Book your free 45 consultations today! Give us a call at (07) 5574 0971 or book online by clicking here.