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    Disclosure and Asset Tracing: The What and Why

    31/03/21 11:08 AM

    The duty of disclosure is a duty that applies to both parties in a separation. It is the duty to fully disclose all financial assets, liabilities and circumstances to your ex-partner and the court so that a fair settlement can be reached.

    The Value of Disclosure

    Exercising the duty of disclosure isn’t cheap and requires a lot of work, so what does it actually achieve? Disclosure is the method by which lawyers and the Court can determine if a settlement is fair. Without knowing what each party owns, it is impossible to determine how property should be divided. Creating a property settlement without proper disclosure is like cutting up a cake without knowing how big the cake is – there is no way to know if what you or your partner is receiving is just and equitable!

    What is Asset Tracing?

    Asset tracing is a process used to identify any hidden assets on either side of the relationship. It may involve complex searches completed by lawyers or analysis of bank accounts and other relevant financial documents to determine whether any assets exist to be included in the property pool to be divided. Things such as hidden bank accounts, stocks, bonds and government benefits are all searched for so that if a party doesn’t reveal some key assets in their disclosure, this process will.

    What next?

    If you’re going through a separation it is extremely important to provide complete disclosure and request the same from your partner before beginning to discuss how your property might be divided.

    If you suspect your partner may be hiding assets or you require assistance with your financial disclosure, please contact us at Frank Law to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers on (02) 9688 6023 or via frank@franklaw.com.au.

    This is not legal advice. 

    Ben Woodward

    Written by Ben Woodward