Q&A: Can I open my husband's bank statements?

QMy husband and I have separated and I have been told that he has to disclose to my Solicitor details of all of his assets, but I believe he will be dishonest.  I am still receiving his post, should I open his bank statements and take them to my Solicitor?

A. Firstly, it would be unlawful for you to open your husband’s post.  Secondly, if you gave these documents to your Solicitor, your Solicitor would be under a duty to send them to your husband’s Solicitor without reading them.  It may even prevent your Solicitor from being able to continue to represent you. 

However, if you had inadvertently seen information which lead you to believe your husband had been dishonest in his financial disclosure, then your Solicitor could rely upon your recollection of what you had seen to either seek Directions from the Court as to specific financial disclosure from your husband, or to apply to the Court for a Search Order authorising an agent to enter your husband’s premises to seize and remove documents on your behalf.

I would therefore advise that if you have these concerns you consult a Solicitor specialising in Matrimonial Law.

Chris Brown, solicitor

*This article was previously published in The Stamford Mercury