What should I bring to my first appointment?

It is useful if we are able to get an idea of your current asset pool, what each of you had at the start, what the arrangements for the children are and your current incomes.  Don’t worry though if you don’t have this information – lots of people don’t.

If you are already in Court, then it is helpful if we can have a look at the Court documents and any relevant reports.

If you just need advice about parenting issues, you don’t need to bring anything with you.  Your knowledge of your child(ren) and their special qualities and needs will be enough.

Full and frank disclosure

There is an obligation on people engaged in family law negotiations to provide full and frank disclosure of anything which is relevant to the case.  In property matters, as a minimum, you will need to provide the following documents to the other side:

  • Your last 3 years’  tax returns;
  • Bank statements for all accounts to which you are a signatory for the last 12 months;
  • Credit card statements for all credit cards held by you for the last 12 months;
  • If you have a business or you are a director of a company, you will need to provide the financial statements of the business including P&L, balance sheets, BAS, management accounts and tax returns for the last 3 years;
  • A current superannuation statement of your superannuation entitlement.  If you are a member of a self managed superannuation fund, you will need to provide the financials and tax returns for the Fund for the last 3 years;
  • If you have an interest in any trusts, a copy of the trust deed and the financials and tax returns for the trust for the last 3 years;
  • Evidence of your current income including 3 months’  payslips , your contract of employment or a letter from your employer;
  • If you own shares, evidence of your shareholding.

It is often helpful to complete a statement of your financial circumstances.  This helps to ensure that you have provided fulsome disclosure of your financial position including all your assets, liabilities, your income and expenditure and will help your lawyer identify documents which we may need to provide to the other side.

As full and frank disclosure is the precursor to any meaningful settlement discussions, providing your disclosure material as quickly and as thoroughly as possible will speed up your settlement.

Usually when your relationship breaks down there is a breakdown in trust.  Often people are convinced that their partner is trying to hide assets in an attempt to defeat a claim.  This is often not the case.  But, working with your lawyer to ensure that you are comfortable that what has been disclosed seems to be an accurate reflection of your financial position during your relationship can help to allay your concerns so you can move towards a settlement.

We work with experienced forensic accountants and financial advisors to ensure all avenues are pursued. These experienced professionals can assist you with tax advice as well as the most effective financial solutions for you following the division of your matrimonial assets.