Financial Disclosure in Family Law

Financial Disclosure in Family Law

It is important to know that both parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially after separation or divorce. Children have a legal right to that support. By law, it is your duty to disclose your financial information.

As you should be aware, you are required to complete a Form 13 – Financial Statement (or Form 13.1 Financial Statement if property is an issue in your matter) to file in the Courts. The Financial Statement is where you set out your financial information at the date marriage/cohabitation, date of separation and present date. The Financial Statement includes information about your income, expenses, assets and debts. To ensure your Financial Statement is accurate, the Courts require you to provide financial disclosure with your Financial Statement. The Courts want to ensure that the parties are sharing complete and honest information in order to calculate support and divide property properly. Typically, the Courts require you to attach your three most recent paystubs and past three years Notice of Assessments to your Financial Statement.

Some other financial documents that you may need to provide to your spouse include:

-proof of income from all sources
-copies of your past three years’ income tax returns
-copies of your past three years’ Notice of Assessments
-bank statements
-credit card statements
-mortgage documents
-line of credit statements
-money owed to you
-business interests

The above financial disclosure may be listed in Form 13A – Certificate of Financial Disclosure.

You must remember that you are required to provide your spouse with updated financial disclosure during your family law matter. If you do not respect that obligation, the court can, for example:

-order that the income be provided (disclosure order);
-assume that the parent’s income is a certain amount for child support purposes and make an order based on that income (impute income);
-order the parent to pay the child support owed all the way back to when the income changed (retroactive order);
-require a parent to pay the legal costs of the other parent;
-find the parent in contempt of court, which can result in fines and/or imprisonment.

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to this topic please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here.