When a party commences proceedings in the Family Court of Australia, Melbourne Registry or the Federal Circuit Court Australia, Melbourne Registry, that party must file with their Initiating Application a Financial Statement. The other party to the proceedings must also file a Financial Statement. A Financial Statement provides the Court with an understanding of the party’s financial circumstances, including:
- Employment details;
- Income, including income derived from a salary, business or company entity, government benefits or child support or spousal maintenance;
- Details of other income earners in the party’s household;
- Details of any expenses paid by another person for the benefit of the party;
- Personal expenditure, including taxation expenses, additional superannuation contributions, mortgage or rental payments, rates or levies, insurance premiums, loan or credit card repayments, child support or spousal maintenance payments and all other expenditure. If a party is seeking Interim or Final Orders for spousal maintenance the Part N of the Financial Statement must be completed;
- Assets held by the party, including real property, funds held in bank accounts, investments, motor vehicles, personal property and household contents;
- Interests in any superannuation fund(s);
- Liabilities including their mortgage, outstanding income taxation assessments and loans, credit cards;
- Financial resources held by the party including any interest in a trust or a deceased estate; and
- Details of the disposal of any property, including the sale of a property or a vehicle.
A Financial Statement is a sworn or affirmed document in the form of an Affidavit and the party swearing or affirming the Financial Statement must be satisfied that the contents of the statement is true and correct and the party does not have any other income, property or financial resources that are not included in the Financial Statement. Any omissions made from the Financial Statement, for example failing to include a property held in their name or they have an interest in, can have serious consequences for that party, such as creditability concerns at a Final Hearing.
Where there are changes to a party’s financial position during the proceedings that party must file an amended Financial Statement, setting out their current financial circumstances.
It is imperative that a Financial Statement is accurate. We encourage you to make an appointment to speak to one of our Family Law Solicitors about your Financial Statement.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?