The financial arrangements within marriages and de facto relationships can vary significantly.
Sometimes it is the case that one partner manages the financial side of the relationship and the other partner, despite being in a long-term relationship, will have minimal understanding of the assets and liabilities of the relationship.
In other cases, there is a clear separation of finances where each partner may have bank accounts and assets in their sole name, creating a situation of mutual financial autonomy.
When a relationship breaks down, regardless of how the assets and liabilities were managed during the relationship, the first step is to determine the assets and liabilities of the relationship and the value of those assets and liabilities. Regardless of whether the asset is held in your sole name, your partner’s sole name, joint names, or even located overseas, the asset will likely be included in the overall calculation of the assets and liabilities to be divided at property settlement.
Disclosing your assets and liabilities to your partner can be confronting, especially when a relationship has broken down and there is a lack of trust and harmony. Sometimes it is difficult to work out what needs to be disclosed.
During property settlement negotiations, both parties have an ongoing duty to provide full and frank disclosure to the other party (in a timely manner) of all documents and information that is relevant to negotiations. This may include exchanging copies of bank statements for a period of time, superannuation statements, trading history statements for your share investments, pay slips, tax returns and so on. You are also required to disclose any other information relevant to the dispute.
The purpose of providing full and frank disclosure is to clarify the issues and make it easier for both parties to negotiate. Sometimes it can be difficult to obtain necessary disclosure, particularly if the dispute is acrimonious.
Dimond Family Lawyers can help you determine what information needs to be disclosed, and if it isn’t being provided voluntarily, we can help guide you with practical and effective ways to resolve the issue and obtain necessary information.