When it comes to finance and property in Family Law, both parties have a duty of disclosure from the beginning to the end of the case. We are the most trusted Family Law lawyers in Melbourne, this means that you and your former partner have a duty to disclose and hand over your financial circumstances to the court and to each other and to release all financial information and documents, relevant to the case.
As experienced Family Law lawyers in Melbourne, our goal is to effectively represent you and protect your interests by utilising our extensive knowledge and skills. This includes identifying and obtaining relevant financial information, such as assets held by your spouse, a third party, or in trust, both within Australia and overseas, in order to ensure a fair distribution of property and financial resources.
If you believe that your partner has not disclosed all assets, there are several steps that your Family Law Lawyers in Melbourne we can take to ensure they are brought to light, and that you receive what you are entitled to.
There are serious penalties if full and frank disclosure is not given.
In my experience, there are very few people that knowingly hide significant assets from their partners, but there may be mistrust due to a lack of financial transparency over time. If you are concerned, there are some things to look out for:
- Large cash withdrawals or regular transfers to unknown accounts.
- Delays in receiving are expected prior to legal separation which may indicate some pre-planning.
Please be assured that with the help of a Family Lawyer, we can uncover hidden assets as part of the financial disclosure process.
The Court can also intervene and issue subpoenas or find in your favour with enough evidence.
My recommendation, wherever you are in the process, is that you keep informed of all finances and gather as much information as possible prior to separation. Knowledge is power and you should equip yourself with as much information as possible to protect yourself.
It is a very stressful and emotional time. I can help calmly guide you through this difficult process and help you make informed choices based on your individual circumstances.
To discuss the details of your case and receive advice, please book a free initial consultation. With the most trusted Family Law lawyers in Melbourne. Deanna Elsner has extensive experience in complex financial settlements and agreements and can help you to move forward.
I suspect my partner is hiding an asset, what can I do?
If someone is deliberately hiding an asset from their ex-partner there are many ways these may be found because there are many checks and balances that form part of the financial disclosure process. If this process occurs and there are still concerns then there can be other ways of gathering this information. If a court is involved, someone is more likely to be found if they have not been upfront. Subpoenas may be issued to get information directly from the bank or from an employer
Can I hire a private investigator?
This can be done. Private investigators will use many methods to determine whether your partner is hiding assets or cash. They can review special databases for example to which they have access to find assets or review public records about properties, tax filings and other documents. They could also conduct surveillance to determine whether your spouse is travelling to locations they have not disclosed or meeting with others who could be assisting them to hide assets.
What else can you do to find any hidden assets?
We could appoint a forensic accountant. They are skilled at critically reviewing information to ascertain the true financial position of a party and whether that party may be hiding any of their finances.
Forensic accountants can assist with the following:
- Identifying the true asset pool;
- Analysing and reporting on findings;
- Acting as a witness in court or other dispute resolution process relating to a property settlement.
If you are worried about evidence being destroyed you may want to consider an Anton Pillar Order. If this is successful an authorised representative can enter your spouse’s premises and take possession of potential evidence that relates to the dispute.