What is a Third party Disclosure Order?
If you are going through a divorce, then you will already know the importance of full and frank financial disclosure in reaching an agreement about your financial assets.
You may have already completed the Financial Statement, also called a Form E, and pulled together the reams of bank statements and pension valuations that you have been told to get.
However, what if there is another person you think is involved, and how do you ensure that they give disclosure of assets you believe should be part of your matrimonial finances?
When to seek a Third Party Disclosure Order
Some people think they can beat the system by transferring assets out of their name and into another third party. They wrongly believe this places assets out of reach from the Court, and that they are “hidden”. This does not always have to be the case.
A Third Party Disclosure Order is made when you tell the Court that another person has information prevalent to your financial settlement.
How to progress your application
In order to be successful in your application, you have to be able to show the Court that the third party has an interest in an asset connected to you and/or your ex-spouse.
Before making an application, you could write to the third party first, asking them to voluntarily make disclosure, which avoids the cost of proceedings and may resolve your concerns quicker. You should set out the information you want, and why.
If the person says no, or does not give you want you have asked for, you can use this to justify your application for the Court to make the third party give you their disclosure.
You will need to explain within a statement why the Court should force this person to provide disclosure and how it is relevant to your proceedings.
You will need clear evidence to justify your application, and so be cautious about making applications based on a hunch or a presumption as the Court may not believe hearsay.
Once you have obtained your Order, you should ensure the third party has received it and confirms they know what they are obliged to do.
They will be given deadlines for providing their relevant disclosure and if they do not meet these deadlines, you can take them back to Court and enforce the Order.
If the result of the disclosure order is that there are relevant assets, then you can look to joining the third party to proceedings.
If you wish to discuss your situation with one of our dedicated Family Lawyers, they will be able to provide advice tailored to your individual circumstances.
Please contact a member of our team on 0800 488 0218 to arrange a free appointment.
Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, Guildford, London, Bracknell, Camberley, Farnborough and Woking.
Watson Thomas are a dedicated team of Family Lawyers who specialise in all aspects of family law.
Our staff can work from home and access all systems so even if all are required to self-isolate this will not affect the day-to-day running of your case. We can also hold appointments via telephone and video conferencing, as needs be, to ensure that your service is not interrupted.