Time after time new clients will start their contact with us with a cry of help needing to either start pre-action or respond to a pre-action (Initiating application) for a divorce or separation. It usually goes something like this…
“My husband (wife) will be extremely difficult in this separation. He (she) is very controlling of my wages and the finances and I don’t know where to start.”
Quite often too, one of the parties doesn’t have external family support or friends to help them through. Being at the mercy of your in-laws can be extremely intimidating – no matter what you do (or don’t do) you feel those around you will judge you.
So let us help break it down for you.
When couples separate, the parties must disclose relevant ‘paperwork’, such as all bank statements, pay slips, work contracts, superannuation statements and the like.
Each party has the duty to make timely, full and frank disclosure of all the information relevant to the issues in dispute.
Both parties should promptly exchange copies of the requested documents in their possession or control relevant to the issue in dispute at all stages, including before starting court proceedings.
Our Family Lawyers will help you through this process to ensure that you are complying with the legal obligations at this stage.
Rule 6.15 of the Family Law Rules sets out documents that do not need to be produced.
Such documents may relate to where there is a claim for privilege from disclosure or documents that have already been disclosed and where there has been no change likely to affect the result of the case.
Failure to disclose information can result in serious consequences, including punishment for contempt of court.
The Court would consider the following documents as appropriate for exchange.
Each party must produce such documents to the other party, in cases where one party is unable to provide a document, a third party authority (such as an accountant) may be required to provide the required information where possible.
It is very important that any documents that have been provided for disclosure are not used for any other purpose other than the intended dispute for the case only. There could be serious consequences if this is breached.
In some situations, parties may decide that an Expert Witness may be required to formalise a value or condition. For example, in the case where one party may want to buy out the other party in the matrimonial home, an Expert Witness may be able to provide a more accurate estimate of the fair market value considering more factors than a real estate agent might.
If this is the stage you are up to in your separation, then get SB Family Lawyers involved. We will help you through these steps and guide you. It Can be a tricky and stressful time for you, you’ll have lots of questions, about your ex-partner’s disclosure and your own. It is our job to help make sure that you comply with your disclosure duty.
We’ll advise you of the best way of resolving the dispute in the most efficient & cost-effective way without unnecessary legal action. We’ll help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities and explain how the law applied to your situation.