We take a closer look at how financial disclosure works and what could happen if full and frank disclosure does not occur.
Financial disclosure is when you give a full account of your financial situation to your spouse, together with supporting documents.
It should include both matrimonial assets (ones that you have build up/acquired during your marriage) and non-matrimonial assets.
Disclosure normally takes place through a ‘Form E’.
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement about your financial settlement, this is the form that you will be required to complete when you apply to the courts to ask a judge to decide your financial settlement for you.
In reality, this form is often used to build up a picture of each spouse’s financial situation, even when neither party has any intention of going to court, as it provides the information required to begin negotiations.
As well as the form itself, it will be necessary to provide evidence supporting the claims you have made. This could include everything from property valuations to payslips and bank statements.
After the Form Es have been exchanged, there is the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the information provided on your spouse’s form.
This is also the time to bring up any issues. You may think, for example, your spouse has missed something off their form or you could suspect they are not being completely honest about their assets.
In some instances, expert reports may be required to clarify issues.
In addition, if one party is found to have failed to have complied with court orders regarding disclosure, this may be contempt of court and could be punishable with, for example, an order to pay the costs of the other party. It could even result in a prison sentence.
Being dishonest about your financial situation or failing to provide information about some of your assets, could cost a great deal of both time and money further down the line.
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For more information on financial disclosure during divorce call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email email@example.com.
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