It’s an Order: Full and Frank Financial Disclosure Taken to a New Level 

In a recent decision of the Family Court of Australia, a wife has been appointed co-director of corporate trustees to afford her transparency in company dealings and to neutralise debate as to full and frank financial disclosure. 

In Hui & Bai [2021] FamCA 6, Justice Hartnett heard a wife’s interim application to be made co-director of entities, of which her husband was sole director. These entities owned commercial buildings as a trustee, one building being worth $45 million. The wife was also party to a $46.5 million personal guarantee to the ANZ bank. 

The husband had been sole director of the companies for 13 years. The wife sought orders to be made a co-director on the basis that she alleged the husband had not made full and frank financial disclosure. The wife also alleged that the husband had entered into dealings without prior notice, which adversely impacted upon her claim in the family law proceedings. 

The Court was of the view that, on the evidence before it, the wife would be afforded the necessary transparency needed if she were to be appointed as co-director of the entities. The Court also noted that the wife’s exposure as a guarantor to a significant sum made the need for transparency all the more pressing. 

Orders were made that the husband do all acts to appoint the wife as co-director of the entities and also be made co-signatory on the entities’ bank accounts. This decision is significant for the reason that it demonstrates the wide breadth of the powers of the Family Court to ensure that parties provide one another with full and frank disclosure. 

If you find yourself in difficulties with separation at the present time and require legal advice, contact our Family Law team today. 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is general and is not intended to be advice on any matter. It is for information only and is not legal advice. In the event of a legal problem, you should seek legal advice.

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