In family law property settlements the legislation is quite clear that each party is required to give “full and frank disclosure”. This might sound a bit foreign to most people but the concept is actually quite clear.
To be perfectly clear, what the obligation means is that any document that any party has that is relevant to the property settlement, a copy needs to be sent to the other party.
The obligation is not limited to the documents set out the Family Court Brochure “Pre-action Procedures for Finanical Matters” which sets out a list of documents that may be required in financial matters.
This can be quite an onerous requirement as usually one party to the relationship has a majority of the documents as they have been the one who has taken care of the finances during the relationship.
It is important that any person who is involved in a family law property settlement is conscious of this fact. If parties are not “full and frank” in their disclosure it can lead to premature Court proceedings and in a worst case scenario Orders that you are to pay the other parties legal fees for the Court proceedings.
It is vitally important that when you are asked to bring in all documents, that you use your best endeavours to locate and gather all documents that you have in your possession or control and hand them to your solicitor.
It is always better to provide your solicitor with too much information and let them sort out what is relevant and what is not relevant. That’s what you pay them for!