In 2005 and 2009, crucial amendments were made to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that bestowed jurisdiction upon the Family Court of Australia in bankruptcy for married and de facto couples.
The duty of disclosure requires all those in family law to provide all information relevant to the family law proceedings. In family law financial cases this means that those involved are required to provide ongoing relevant information such as bank statements, tax returns and financial reports. However, it is not uncommon for some to be reluctant in disclosing relevant information. Afterall, if you disclose an asset then that asset may form part of the family law proceedings. So, it becomes difficult for those who are trying to get accurate and up to date information on those assets.
The Australian family law system is currently undergoing many changes, leading to a highly politicised and uncertain environment that has only exacerbated issues with the court system. While it may seem that governments and lawyers alike are the only beneficiaries of the inefficiencies of the family law jurisdiction, one form of alternative dispute resolution is on the verge of making a great resurgence that may make clients the real winner.