There may be cases where parties within financial proceedings have had financial contributions from third parties. If there is dispute over these contributions, the court may also order the third parties to be joined into these proceedings. Instances in which this may arise would be, for example, where a loan has been provided for the purchase of a home; if one party has a business with a third party and the capital value of either the business or shares is in dispute; or if a party is the beneficiary under a trust.

Should a third party automatically be joined?

This depends. A third party may support the case of one of the parties and as such, a court may be satisfied that evidence is sufficient. However, if the third party disputes another party’s beneficial entitlement, the court will need to determine the issue.

What if I am a beneficiary under a Trust?

There has been case law dealing with the evidence a beneficiary is able to provide to the court under a trust. The court is unlikely to accept that the beneficiary is not entitled to obtain documentation relating to a trust. If the beneficiary does not produce evidence, the court may join the trustee of the trust. Each case is judged on its own merits.

What documents may be disclosed?

Depending on the trust, a court will expect the following documents to be disclosed;-

  • A copy of the trust and any deeds of variation
  • The trust accounts, giving details of the income and capital that may have been distributed
  • Evidence of any payments made to the beneficiary by the trust
  • A valuation of the trust assets

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