FULL AND FRANK FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE. DO I HAVE TO TELL MY HUSBAND OR WIFE ABOUT THE MONEY IN THAT BANK ACCOUNT?

Clients often ask me: ‘Do I have to tell my husband or wife about the money in that bank account? Even if they don’t know about it? Even if they don’t ask about it?’ Well, the short answer is: ‘generally yes, you do have to tell your husband and wife about that hidden money or there may be serious consequences.

In Family Law there is a duty to make full and frank financial disclosure when there is a dispute in respect of property in the divorce. This is to protect people from being taken advantage of in a divorce. What this means essentially is that every document that is relevant to the Court making its decision needs to be produced to both the Court and the other side. This can mean bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, trust deeds, and other documents related to your financial position.

So what happens if you fail to make full and frank financial disclosure? It depends on the circumstances, but the Court may award you a smaller share of the property, or, even worse, if the failure to make disclosure is serious and is discovered later on down the track, the orders made can be set aside. This means that you may have to return to court, even though you thought that everything was finalised.

If you are in a divorce and you are unsure of what information you have to provide to the Court or the other side, seek professional advice. Ask an expert in family law. Call Testart Family Lawyers to set up a free initial consultation. We’ll help you to get the best property settlement.

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