It is essential for all parties in family law proceedings to disclose all relevant information and documents from the start through to the finalisation of the proceedings.
Chapter 6 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 describes the General duty of disclosure but particularly refers to the requirement and obligation of each party to provide full and frank disclosure to the other in accordance with Rule 6.01(1).
The documents that are required to be disclosed are assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances of the parties. The documents may include but are not limited to:
(a) Criminal records of a party;
(b) Documents filed in other proceedings concerning a child or a party (such as the Children’s Court or Local Court for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, (“ADVO”));
(c) Medical reports about a child or a party; and
(d) School reports.
The documents that are required to be disclosed include but are not limited to:
Income Tax Returns;
Notices of Assessment;
Bank statements (credit and debt);
Company and business records (such as Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets);
Market opinions for real estate;
Redbook searches for motor vehicles;
Trust Deeds; and
The purpose of disclosure is to ascertain what the assets, superannuation and liabilities are to distribute between the parties. The obligation to disclose continues throughout the proceedings and should be updated regularly by all parties.