NSW Hiding financial records in a settlement (long)

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Lurkette, 11 May 2019.

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  1. Lurkette

    Lurkette Active Member

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    My partner and I are divorcing. Legal aid is dithering over whether to give me a grant of aid. In the meantime, it's DIY for me. My partner has a lawyer.

    Without being too specific, my partner earned money overseas that was paid into an overseas account. Both the employer and the bank are reputable and would have kept records. We've been married twenty years, and he gave me contact information for this work about eight years ago. I know the name and account number and the branch of the bank he was using, as well as the name of his employer. Our relationship was strong at the time, and he gave me these records at the time in case of an emergency.

    I've asked my partner to disclose this additional income and banking records and been refused. My partner is pretending to have forgotten working for this company. I think my partner is still doing work for this company or trying to hide old savings from me. It's also quite possible taxes weren't paid on this money. If my partner is willing to hide it from me I suspect being willing to hide it from the ATO.

    My ex has refused to disclose any records. I think the lawyer is fishing to find out what 'evidence' I have, as he (the lawyer) told me it's my obligation to demonstrate there's a matter to disclose. I've asked for my partner's tax records from the time, and was told they weren't relevant and it was too much of a nuisance to request them. I asked for letters from the company/bank saying my partner never did business with either, and was told I was just being difficult and there's no legal reason to provide letters denying a relationship.

    My partner's lawyer is saying that since we've been married a long time, only the last three years records need be disclosed. He's saying that if I want records before that then I must prove I'm not being a nuisance or harassing my partner. I've asked for my partner's financial records throughout our marriage so we can each measure our contributions to the relationship. According to my partner's lawyer the law presumes in a long marriage that both partners contributions were equal and I must have my own records to demonstrate if that's not true. He's also said that my partner doesn't have to disclose income if he didn't pay taxes on it as that would be self-incrimination. My partner's lawyer has said that if I take this to court to get these records and the magistrate doesn't feel I'm credible enough to subpoena them, I'll have to pay his private legal fees for the time it took to investigate the matter and to appear in court.

    I know my partner is required to disclose any relevant records and is just hiding behind a lawyer. Is there some legal option I can invoke for now, while I'm waiting on legal aid or some other option for proper legal counsel? Is there any way to force a disclosure of records from a longer time span without the lawyer automatically being able to spin the request as harassment? Is there a legal phrase or term I need to invoke?
     
  2. Surfrat70

    Surfrat70 Member

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    When I went through my divorce, the term was "full and frank disclosure". I believe there are rules in relation to this for the family court - perhaps worth following up on this.
    NB I have no legal training - just my experience 12 years ago
     
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