When dealing with legal matters under family law, you might have often come across the term “Form 13.” The aim of this article is to explore the meaning of Form 13 in family law, and discuss all relevant aspects related to this topic.
Firstly, what is the definition of Form 13 in family law? A Form 13 in family law is a financial statement which is to be filed in cases that involve financial issues like property settlement matters, spousal maintenance matters, child support, and even child’s school fees.
If you want the court to make financial orders or other relevant orders you have to lodge this financial statement along with your application. You can lodge this statement on the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
- “A party starting, or filing a response or reply to, a financial case (other than by Application for Consent Orders) must file a Financial Statement (Form 13) at the same time.”
- “If a party is aware that the completion of Form 13 will not fully discharge the duty to make full and frank disclosure, the party must also file an affidavit giving further particulars.“
The Form 13 in family law gives the court all details of your property and financial assets and liabilities.
Things To Consider When Filling Out Form 13 For Family Law
If you are involved in family law proceedings for divorce or separation cases, it is advisable that you seek advice from experienced family lawyers. This is especially necessary in cases where you need mediation, or dispute resolution.
Family lawyer for Form 13 in family law
Mediation and dispute resolution services help when there are disagreements about certain matters. Before going to court, you need to make sure that you try resolving these disputes without court intervention, and with the help of expert mediators instead.
It is not mandatory for family lawyers to represent you in the court. However, when dealing with Form 13 for family law, it is important that you have a professional who can review your draft form before it is filed.
Form 13 in family law is a kind of affidavit. This means that if there is false information, there might be legal consequences. This can cause negative impacts on your case. This is why it is best to leave this up to experts like family lawyers who can check every detail, and make sure everything on the form is accurate.
Full and frank disclosure in Form 13 for family law
The form must must include all information about current income, expenses, assets, liabilities and financial resources. As mentioned above, these financial cases in family law may be related to matters concerning spousal maintenance, child support, or property settlement.
Form 13 is use to provide a full and frank disclosure about assets and liabilities to the other party, as well as to the Family Court.
The financial statement do it yourself (DIY) kit can be found on the Federal Circuit and Family Court website here.
Furthermore, an affidavit also needs to be filed to support the application along with the Form 13. The affidavit and financial statement (or Form 13) will then need to be signed by the applicant in front of an authorised witness. Many people use affidavits to disclose information which they could not include in the form.
The authorised witness is generally a Justice of the Peace (JPs) lawyers. However an authorised witness could also be:
- a lawyer
- a judge or magistrate
- a public notary
- any person who is authorised to administer oaths/affirmations during court proceedings
- an Australian Diplomatic Officer
Get Documents Ready
It is important for you to gather all documents before filing the form. Keep them easily accessible to avoid unnecessary delays and confusions in the future. The different types of documents which are usually relevant include:
- current superannuation statements
- current payslips
- folder with all household expenses and accounts
- most recent income tax return
- most recent notice of assessment from the ATO
- current bank statements
- current credit card statements
- current mortgage statements
What If My Financial Circumstances Have Changed?
Rule 13.06 set out under the Family Law Rules (2004) states procedures to follow in cases where amendments of Form 13 is necessary.
“This rule applies if before a conciliation conference, pre-trial conference, or at the time of seeking a consent order, a party’s financial circumstances have changed significantly from the information set out in the Form 13 or affidavit filed under rule 13.05.”
According to this rule, at least 7 days before the pre-trial or conciliation conference, or 7 days before seeking a consent order, the party must file:
- A new Form 13 where all amendments and updates are clearly marked; or
- In cases where the amendments can be clearly stated in 300 words or less, then an affidavit can be filled containing information about the person’s changed financial circumstances.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
When dealing with family law cases involving property settlement, spousal maintenance or child support, it is very important to accurately disclose information about assets and liabilities by filling out financial statements.
Having experienced family lawyers by your side makes this process easier and hassle-free. When filling out such forms, you have to make sure it is free of any error. Otherwise this can cause unnecessary delays. It is also important to have professional guidance when you are gathering all financial documents. Lawyers can help you figure out which documents are most relevant.
At JB Solicitors, our experienced and friendly family lawyers can help you with all matters related to family law. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving all our clients a clear sense of the costs right from the get-go. We wish to facilitate transparency throughout all our processes, and are dedicated to keeping our clients well-informed.
Contact our compassionate team of lawyers today.