The Importance of Financial Disclosure in

Separation

Money is a very important aspect of life, and nothing is different when it comes to separation. As such, it’s very important to be transparent with finances at all steps of the separation process.

What is Financial Disclosure?

When two people decide to get divorced, both will have to provide the value of all of their assets (like property and bank accounts) and liabilities (like debts) at the date of separation as well as the date of marriage. There are some assets that can be excluded from these valuations, one example being gifts or inheritances.

Disclosing one’s income is important as both child support (the money paid from one parent to another towards expenses related to a child) and spousal support (the money paid from one spouse to another based on compensation or need) are based on income.1

The Importance of Financial Disclosure

Whether you are settling your matter in or out of court, financial disclosure must be complete and accurate. Inaccurate information and failing to disclose amounts will have negative repercussions for a party’s reputation before the court and may result in further legal proceedings and orders which will likely ultimately cost a party even more in the long run. The Family Law Act allows the court to set aside (and not enforce) any separation agreement that has not included a full financial disclosure.2

How to Provide Financial Disclosure

● Financial statements (Form 13 or 13.1): A financial statement is a detailed court form that you fill out to list your incomes and expenses. Where possible, you should provide documentation to support the amounts you list. The financial statement will need to be sworn or affirmed, meaning that you will need to promise that the information is true. Financial statements are required for cases in court, and cases that deal with child support, spousal support, property division or debt.

● Other methods of disclosure: For cases not dealing with the above issues, you will need to provide financial disclosure but it need not be done via a sworn financial statement. You may find it useful to use the form provided by the court, as it lists the things that the court will consider when deciding support and property issues. You can choose to fill out the statement or provide financial disclosure in another way, such as on an excel spreadsheet, or a handwritten list.3

How to Fill out a Financial Statement

Financial Statements must be completed in accordance with Family Law Rule 13 on Financial Disclosure.

Which financial statement form to use:

Form 13

You should use financial statement form 13 if you and/or your partner are asking ONLY for child and/or spousal support

● Requirements for Form 13:

○ Income

○ Expenses

○ Property (including land, cars household goods, jewellery, bank accounts)

○ Money owed to you

○ Debts such as loans and credit card debts

Form 13.1

You should use Form 13.1 if you and/or your partner are looking to divide property and debts.4

  • Requirements for Form 13.1:
  • Value of assets and debts at
  • The date you and your partner got married,
  • The valuation date (normally the date of separation), and
  • The current date

Other Documentation you will likely need:

● Proof of income

● Copies of income tax return

● Bank statements

● Credit card statements

● Mortgage documents

● Line of credit statements

● Money owed to you

● Business interests (copies for your partner and the court).5

Nothing in this article should be considered or relied on as legal advice or opinion. This article only provides general information and should you require assistance, please contact us to book a free initial consultation with one of our Family lawyers. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.

References:

1 Feldstein Family Law Group, “The Importance of Financial Disclosure”(18 June 2020) online(blog): Feldstein Family Law Group .

2 Gail Vaz-Oxlade, “ Financial Disclosure in Ontario” (18 June 2020) online (blog): The Common Sense Divorce .

3 Steps to Justice, “What is a financial statement? What document do I have to give my partner?” (31 July 2017) online(blog): Steps to Justice [STJ].

4 STJ, supra note 2.5 Ibid.

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