Family Law Duty of Disclosure

Duty of Disclosure in Family Law MattersIn Family Law matters, there is a positive and ongoing duty of disclosure. The duty requires all parties to Court proceedings to disclose to the Court and each other all relevant information. This includes, but is not limited to, information and documents that the other parties may not know about. This duty starts from the moment you start negotiations and continues until the case is finalised.

There are two broad categories of cases in family law matters – cases that relate to property matters, and cases that relate to children’s matters. Occasionally, the categories will be intertwined, an example of this is children’s expenses. What you are required to disclose depends on the circumstances of the case.

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Family Law Duty of Disclosure: Financial cases

In these types of matters, both parties are required to provide all information about their financial situation. The types of documents required in financial cases include but are not limited to:

  • Payslip/income statements
  • Bank account statements
  • Taxation returns
  • Superannuation statements
  • Valuations and appraisals of assets
  • Details of any financial resources and supporting documentation
  • Details or interests in any company and/or trust and supporting documentation
  • Details of assets disposed of leading up to separation and since separation

When preparing for financial discussions that involve children, you should collect receipts for expenses such as:

  • School fees
  • Childcare fees
  • Health care costs
  • Any other expenses such as music, sport or other activities

Family Law Duty of Disclosure: Parenting cases

Parties are also required to make full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to a parenting case, at all stages in a case. For example, they may include:

  • Medical reports about a child or parent
  • The amount of time a child spends in a parent’s care
  • School reports
  • Letters and drawings by the child
  • Photographs
  • A diary


If you fail to disclose or file an undertaking or file a false undertaking, the Court may:

  • Refuse to allow you to use that information
  • Award a greater portion of the property pool to the other party as compensation
  • Postpone or dismiss all or part of your case
  • Order costs against you
  • Fine you or imprison you on being found guilty of contempt of court for not disclosing the document or for breaching your undertaking

The article is written by Gold Coast Family Lawyers, who practice in the area of Family Law and is intended to offer simple explanations to frequently asked questions about disclosure and what practical impact if any, non-disclosure has on the division of matrimonial assets. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as same as it does not answer questions specific to your situation.

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