When you’re going through a separation, custody battle or property settlement, you may want to keep some of the information private. However, both parties have a duty to provide both the Court, and each other, all information relevant to the case.

You may not realise the types of information that could affect your case, and includes things the other party may not about and things they may not. You must be able to produce any of the documents that are in your possession, power or control.

If going through a property settlement, you may need to disclose information relating to the following:

  • Bank, mortgage and credit card statements, since the date of separation;
  • Appraisals of any real estate (3 to compare is desirable);
  • Last 3 payslips;
  • Taxation Returns and Notices of Assessment for the past 3 financial years;
  • Redbook valuations of any motor vehicles;
  • Most recent superannuation statement for all superannuation funds;
  • Council Rates, Water, Gas and Electricity bills (any other accounts relating to the home);
  • Evidence of assets at cohabitation;
  • Evidence of any inheritance, gift or compensation payment; and
  • Evidence of any assets disposed of since separation.

If your matter relates to a children’s issue, you may need to disclose information relating to the following:

  • medical reports about a child or parent
  • school reports
  • letters and drawings by the child
  • photographs
  • a diary
  • school fees
  • child care fees
  • health care costs
  • any other expenses such as music, sport or other activities.

In either instance, you should bring all of these documents along to your first appointment.

Your obligation to disclose starts during negotiations and carries on until the case is finalised. It helps to determine an appropriate settlement by understanding the position each party is in. Failure to make full disclosure could be detrimental to the final outcome of the case. By providing as much information as possible it can help ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

If you fail to disclose the required information the Court can enforce cost orders against you, put a stay in your proceedings or even fine or ordered a term of imprisonment if you are found in contempt of the court.

Whether you are have recently separated, having custody issues or are looking at a property settlement, Sriyani at Hume Taylor & Co can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Make an appointment today.