Failure to Provide Financial Disclosure Australia: Consequences of Failure to Disclose
Failure to provide financial disclosure Australia can result in the court order being set aside.
This is done under section 79A of the Family Law Act. The court has the discretion to set aside the order if there has been a miscarriage of justice due to suppression of evidence or failure to disclose relevant information.
Key Takeaway: Non-disclosure can undo court orders and incur additional legal costs.
What is Financial Disclosure?
Financial disclosure is the act of revealing financial information to another party, usually in the context of family law matters like divorce or property settlement. This includes revealing assets, income, expenses, and debt.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia imposes a duty upon parties to disclose their finances to one another.
Key Takeaway: Financial disclosure is not optional; it’s a legal requirement.
Why is Financial Disclosure Important?
Financial disclosure ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the financial landscape, which is crucial for determining the division of property, spousal and child support, and other financial matters. It allows for a just and equitable outcome.
Key Takeaway: A fair property settlement is impossible without full financial disclosure.
Legal Obligations and Duty of Disclosure
The duty of financial disclosure is a requirement on each party to provide the court with full and frank disclosure of their financial situation. This duty applies from the beginning to the end of the property proceedings.
Failure to comply may lead to punishment for contempt of court and cost orders against the non-compliant party.
Key Takeaway: The duty of disclosure is ongoing, and failure to comply has serious legal repercussions.
Financial Abuse and Disclosure
In some cases, failure to disclose can be a form of financial abuse, where one partner hides assets to retain control and power in a relationship.
This is especially concerning as it adds another layer of complexity to the legal proceedings.
Key Takeaway: Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse and can complicate family law matters.
How We Can Provide Assistance
We recently had the opportunity to assist a client, a divorced father, who was deeply concerned about the legal implications of financial disclosure in his family law case.
The client was aware that failing to provide accurate and complete financial information could lead to severe consequences, including the possibility of court orders being set aside.
He was particularly anxious about how this could affect his property settlement and child support arrangements.
Upon consultation, we thoroughly reviewed his financial assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.
We then guided him through collating all necessary documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and property valuations, to ensure full compliance with Australian law.
Our team also advised him on the ongoing duty of disclosure, emphasising that this obligation is not just a one-time event but continues throughout the legal proceedings.
By the end of our engagement, the client felt more confident and less stressed, knowing he had fulfilled his legal obligations and minimised the risks associated with failure to disclose.
Seek Professional Advice
Failure to provide financial disclosure Australia in family law system is a severe issue with legal and ethical implications.
It’s not just about being transparent; it’s about ensuring a fair and equitable outcome for all parties involved.
So, if you’re ever on the fence about disclosing information in your property settlement, the answer is undeniably ‘yes.’
Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.