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Family Court Duty of Disclosure

Disclosure of Assets & Liabilities in the Family Court

Q & A

Do I have to make full disclosure of all my assets and liabilities?

Yes you do!

What is duty of disclosure?

There are specific rules about full and frank disclosure in family law financial cases.  The rules are contained in the Family Law Rules 2004, rule 13.04. Disclosure includes the party’s direct and indirect financial circumstances.

Parties must disclose all their assets, liabilities and superannuation, including any property disposal (whether by sale, transfer, assignment or gift).  Property disposal includes anything disposed of 12 months prior to separation.

What happens if I don’t make full disclosure?

There is a risk that your consent orders or financial agreement may be set aside by your former spouse or a third party creditor.

Such was the recent case of Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of Hicks & Hicks & Anor [2018].

THE BRIEF FACTS: The parties, Mr & Mrs Hicks filed an Application for Consent Orders for a property settlement in August 2011.  Neither party disclosed in the application that there were debts of $606,000 owed to a Mr S and unsecured creditors.  The debt was incurred during the marriage and the projects which were linked to the loan were intended to benefit the marriage.

OUTCOME: The Consent Orders for property were set aside because there was a miscarriage of justice.  On that basis, a rehearing is to occur.

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