Separating from your partner is stressful and difficult however there are some matters that should be dealt with promptly. If your partner commences legal proceedings in order to finalise your property matters, ignoring their approaches in the hope that the dispute will resolve itself can seriously impact the outcome of your court proceedings.

The Family Law Act requires full financial disclosure by each party when making property orders. If one party ignores requests or refuses to disclose court proceedings are likely to be commenced without that party’s involvement. This will involve the court making an assumption about that party’s assets and proceeding to make orders based on that assumption, regardless of whether it is correct. This could result in the court overestimating the non-disclosing party’s finances and subsequently making orders which do not accurately represent the respective party’s assets.

An “undefended hearing” occurs where one party does not participate in the Family Law proceedings (eg. Failing to appear in court) and the Court proceeds to make orders in the absence of that party. The orders are based on what the Court believes to be “just and equitable” based on the available information.

Repeatedly ignoring your partner’s requests or failing to provide disclosure can significantly increase costs and may result in the court making a cost order against you. This means you would be required to pay your partner’s legal fees in addition to any fees you have incurred yourself.

Don’t ignore your Family Law matters, call WMD Law on (02) 9525 8688 for advice today.