Breaking Down Duty of Disclosure in Family Law

Duty of disclosure is one of the most crucial elements that family law solicitors will ensure they cover with you even before committing to becoming legal counsel for your family law matter.

Succinctly put, the duty of disclosure as applied in family law cases requires that the parties involved provide each other with information, both in paper and electronic format, that is relevant to the matter. Family law solicitors will give you the specifics of duty of disclosure, which covers the following things.

All Parties Have Rights and Obligations

The duty to disclose cuts across the board. Factors such as which party initiated the proceedings do not count. Be it a parenting case or matters to do with asset and property division after a divorce, the parties involved, through their respective family law solicitors, have a right to request for any such information that may be deemed relevant to the case.

These rights and obligations apply during pre-action procedures all the way to the finalisation of the matter. Family law solicitors will discuss the documents that you need and should request from the other party for your particular case.

The Continuing Nature of the Duty

Circumstances may change after initiating proceedings. Similarly, either party may come into possession or control of new documents along the way. The continuing nature of the duty of disclosure requires that you disclose such new documents, as may be relevant to the case.

In the spirit of full and frank disclosure, family law solicitors advise that you comply with this duty, even if the other party is not aware of the existence of these new documents. All parties must comply with this duty up until the conclusion of the family law dispute.

Non-Compliance Comes With Consequences

Non-compliance will serve to ensure that your case drags on for longer than it should. You also risk evidence on non-disclosed documents being rendered inadmissible. The courts may also decide to dismiss your case, or at least a part of it, on the grounds of failing to comply with your duty of disclosure.

Additionally, if you fail to do proper and timely disclosure, your family law solicitors will have to respond to several or repeated document requests from the other party. This will only add to your legal fees, which is financially frustrating.

There is so much to the element of disclosure as relates to family law matters. Family law solicitors will advise you on your responsibilities and rights and what non-compliance will mean for your case.