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Disclosure – Just Do It!

When meeting with a family law lawyer it is very likely that they will mention the importance of disclosure. To lawyers this is the act of producing and exchanging relevant documents so that both parties can have an accurate picture of the assets and liabilities of the other. Merriam-Webster defines disclosure very simply: it is the act of making something known. During relationship breakdown, when emotions are running high, things are rarely so simple. The act of disclosure can seem invasive, time consuming and unnecessary. To lawyers, there is a distinct advantage in producing complete disclosure as quickly and efficiently as possible. Full and complete disclosure can help both sides come to agreement, settle outstanding matters and ‘get done’!


To help our clients understand this process we have created a top ten list of reasons to do disclosure NOW:


    1. We all know that there are competing priorities in life; we have to make a living, take care of the kids, the business, etc. Does everyone really expect you to collect all this information at the same time as doing all those other things? Yes! We can provide you with advice to help get through this process and organize your disclosure.
    2. If you want to get done then you have to do your part to not be part of the problem. To the extent you haven’t provided full disclosure you are creating an impediment to getting done.
    3. There are no financial secrets in family law. Material and relevant disclosure is always producible. Recognize that and get on with it.
    4. Delay in providing full disclosure creates suspicion, conflict and cost.
    5. Your lawyer is working with their hands tied behind their back if you don’t disclose because: a. often the other side will refuse to advance matters without the disclosure; and  b.they can’t give you full and proper advice. Why hire a lawyer if you are going to handcuff them?
    6. Failing to disclose doesn’t help in the long run. Contracts can be overturned if built on a faulty foundation. The deal you think you have may not endure.
    7. The law is always changing, what might be an acceptable standard of disclosure today won’t necessarily be okay in the future when your deal is being reviewed or attacked.
    8. Deals made with full disclosure and proper independent legal advice are rarely if ever overturned.
    9. Most family cases resolve once there is a full and transparent sharing of all the material and relevant information and the parties’ perspectives on that information.   This is often the most important part of getting done.
    10. Getting done means you can have a life again.


If you have questions about the importance of the disclosure process or need advice on compiling your disclosure efficiently please contact us.