After going through a divorce, separating from your partner or a de-facto separation, you will need to have a conversation with your ex regarding the division of your accumulated property and financials, including any debts and assets.
The divorce process is the end of a marriage in the eyes of the law. It does not take in the division of property, assets, custody arrangements or child support issues. This is done later and can be done either with or without the intervention of the court with an amicable agreement written up as a Financial Agreement, or formally, with Consent Orders and lawyers involved.
The financial aspects of divorce includes not only your property and the money in your bank accounts, but child support, spousal support, if applicable, any debt division, superannuation and any property you had before your relationship started.
While it’s best to try and come to an informal property settlement agreement amicably, there will be situations that will require the assistance of a lawyer and possibly the courts. In these circumstances, it’s recommended that you contact a Family Law Specialist such as Burbank & Brown.
During a formal property settlement process, either party may request Full and Frank Disclosure of the other party’s financials, this is when a financial questionnaire and balance sheet will be used.
What is a Financial Questionnaire?
A financial questionnaire is a document that is used in the Family Court that can be requested of an individual, business or other entity. It outlines the financial income, expenditure and any liabilities and must be filled out honestly and correctly.
In the context of divorce, you and your ex may be required to fill one of these out. You will need to outline any assets, property, debts, and be transparent about your financial situation. This is crucial as the courts need to know the correct information in order to make the best decisions for both you, your ex and any dependents you may have.
It’s important to know that should your case end up in the Family Court, the financial questionnaire will be used as evidence before the judge and you have an obligation to provide full and frank disclosure of your financial circumstances both to the court and to each other. This can be seen under Rule 6.06 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court Of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021. For more information about Full and Frank Disclosure visit the Family Court of Australia Website here.
How do I access a financial questionnaire?
You can view an online PDF copy of the Financial Questionnaire on the Family Court of Australia Website here.
You will only need to lodge a Financial Questionnaire if you have commenced court proceedings in the Family Court.
To download other formats of the Financial Questionnaire and learn more about the lodging requirements, please visit the Family Court Of Australia Website.
What Happens after I fill out my financial questionnaire?
Once the form has been filled out, you are required to file it within 21 days after your case assessment conference, or as otherwise directed by a Registrar. You must also serve a copy to your ex partner.
The Financial Questionnaire can also be used as a starting point at your initial consultation with Burbank & Brown Lawyers to work out the value of your net assets and liabilities following separation.
For more information regarding financial questionnaires and property settlement after a divorce, get in touch with Burbank & Brown.