Financial disclosure on divorce – 10 things you need to know

financial disclosure on divorce

Not sure about financial disclosure on divorce? Read this straightforward guide. This blog also tells you what happens after disclosure – something you really need to know! But please make sure you take advice from an experienced family lawyer if you are at all unsure about your position.


1.    What are my options

The answer is there are few because the rule is full and frank disclosure backed up by documentary evidence. Hiding assets or income will only serve to drag out negotiations. Furthermore it can result in an expensive and never ending Court case. And can end in imprisonment.

2.    But is it actually a matrimonial asset

This is a vital question but it’s addressed after disclosure.  So yes, you have to disclose all of the following:

  • house you owned pre-marriage
  • pension you paid into since you started work
  • inheritance that post dated your separation

But disclosing an asset doesn’t mean you lose it. Why? Because there may be good reasons why some or all of it should be ring fenced. See my blog Ring fence and protect assets on divorce.

3.    Is disclosure inevitable

Whether it’s voluntary or part of the Court process, at some stage it’s likely you will be called upon to disclose your assets and income. This is in a:

4.    Can I hide my assets in a new account or business

That won’t work either. These are all disclosable, even assets in a trust. By all means argue that the trust should not be taken into consideration after you have disclosed it.

5.    What happens if I don’t disclose my assets

You will be surprised how inquisitive divorce lawyers can be – not to mention forensic accountants. As a result of their investigations your ex could make an application to the Court for you to disclose the asset and all relevant documentation relating to it.

6.    But how bad can it really get 

Worst case scenario, you end up in prison for contempt of court. More likely is a costs order and “adverse inferences” being drawn as to the extent of your assets. If this happens the Court can decide you’ve got more assets than you’re letting on. This can mean an order for a larger share to your ex – not a good outcome.

7.    Will I get away with it

Have you hidden away an asset, or a lucrative plan for your business, and no one has noticed – yet? You will always be looking over your shoulder as your failure to disclose is likely to be discovered.

8.   What if the order has been made

Cases of non disclosure or fraudulent disclosure are treated severely. The Court can overturn the order finalising the matrimonial finances – you will find yourself back at square one again: older, wiser, but sadly a great deal lighter in your pocket.

9. Is financial disclosure on divorce a good idea

Yes, it leads to:

  • quicker and easier outcomes
  • lower legal costs
  • less emotional fallout for you and the children

10. What happens after financial disclosure on divorce

See my blogs What happens after financial disclosure on divorce part 1, part 2 and part 3 for a guide to:

  • filling in Form E
  • Court timetable
  • concise statement of issues
  • chronology
  • questionnaire
  • First Appointment
  • FDR

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial consultation on Financial Disclosure on Divorce. In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post Financial Disclosure on Divorce are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

image for Financial Disclosure on Divorce A Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) landing on its nest by Böhringer on WikiMedia

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