Duty of Disclosure in Family Law: 3 Important Things You Need to Know

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The duty of disclosure is a fundamental aspect of family law that plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency and fairness during legal proceedings.

Understanding the duty of disclosure is essential for all individuals navigating the complexities of family law, as it serves as a cornerstone in upholding the principles of fairness, integrity, and justice within the legal system.

What is Duty of Disclosure in Family Law?

In family law property matters, parties are required to make full and frank disclosure of relevant financial circumstances. As matters progress, orders are made, and Court documents are sworn based on this disclosure, so it is not a duty to be taken lightly.


The term “disclosure in family law” refers to the process of exchanging relevant financial and non-financial information between parties involved in a family law dispute.

This exchange of information is a crucial step in reaching a fair and equitable resolution in matters such as divorce, property settlements, and child support.

Disclosure in family law aims to ensure transparency and fairness in resolving disputes by enabling each party to have access to the relevant financial information necessary to negotiate or make an application to the court.

Read more: Walker Pender’s Family Lawyers

Documents to Disclose

The answer to this question is fairly broad, as any information relating to your financial circumstances may be relevant. Types of documents to disclose include, but are not limited to:

  • Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessments for the previous three years
  • Details and records of any investments in real estate, stocks and shares
  • Details and statements for any bank accounts held for the last 12 months
  • Valuations of property such as cars, trailers and caravans.

It’s important to keep in mind that the duty of disclosure continues throughout your matter, and any changes to your financial position must be disclosed.

Read more: What is equal shared parental responsibility?

Duty of Disclosure

Failure to fulfil the duty of disclosure can seriously prejudice your case and may even result in an order for you to pay the other party’s legal costs.

It’s important to note that this duty remains in force until the case is finalised, and any new or changed information must be disclosed, promptly. Hence, it’s important to understand what is the duty of disclosure in family law.

The duty of disclosure in a parenting case can, in some cases, be more demanding than that in a property matter and should always be taken seriously.

As with property matters, failing to meet the duty of disclosure can have serious ramifications for a case. You may be prevented from using a document that you have failed to disclose, the other party may seek for you to pay their legal costs, your lawyer may be prevented from continuing to act for you, and in some cases, the matter could be dismissed altogether.

Need a Lawyer?

If you are unsure about what to disclose or if you want to further understand what is the duty of disclosure in family law, you should seek advice from an experienced Family Lawyer.

Walker Pender Group support clients in family law matters, including the duty of disclosure. When assisting a husband with his divorce and property settlement, our team explained the importance of full and accurate disclosure.

We gathered comprehensive financial information from the individual, prepared a transparent financial statement, and maintained open communication with the opposing party’s representative. 

Throughout the process, we provided ongoing advice and guidance, ensuring the client’s rights were protected. If the case proceeded to court, our experienced litigators were prepared to present the husband’s financial position effectively.

To speak with an experienced legal practitioner about your family law matter, please get in touch.

To discuss your family law matter with an experienced legal professional, please contact us today.

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