How to work out who gets what when a relationship breaks down (Part 2).
This "How To" Series Guide helps to explain the steps involved in reaching settlement. You are reading Part 2 of 3 parts. If you would like to read Part 1 click here
What sort of documents should be disclosed?
Examples of standard documents to provide or request include:
How much information can you ask for in the disclosure step?
The main principle is that items for which disclosure is requested must be relevant, tailored and focused to the parties’ relationship property, keeping in mind that the law requires that disputes must be resolved as inexpensively, simply and quickly as possible.
Court cases show that reasonableness and proportionality are key considerations for any request for disclosure. Therefore, a party may not need to hand over requested document if the documents are not reasonably relevant to the case or it is overly onerous to provide (e.g. very expensive and time consuming to put together in light of its relevance). Parties need to seek material in an expeditious way and where such conduct becomes oppressive it may lead to a Court concluding “enough is enough”.
What if there are delays in disclosure?
On average the process of settlement can take between three to six months. If there are delays with providing or obtaining disclosure, it can take a year or more.
Step 1 can often cause delays in the settlement of relationship property especially when parties are not forthcoming with information. We can help clients avoid delays by proactively managing requests for information.
This may mean applying to the Family Court where one party has concealed information and misled the other party in relation to the true extent of relationship property.
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