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Financial Disclosure in Family Law: Is It Required?

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What is Financial Disclosure?

Simply put, financial disclosure is an exchange of financial information between parties in family law proceedings to provide a full and accurate story of their income, expenses, assets, and debts. Parties must provide prompt and accurate disclosure.

Importance and Consequences of Failure to Disclose/Disclose Accurate Information

Failure to disclose accurate information on your financial statement can have negative consequences in your matter. For example, a party who fails to provide sufficient information on their financial statement may be ordered to provide additional information or provide a new financial statement. This consequence can be both costly and time-consuming. Additionally, a party who provides inaccurate or false financial disclosure can be regarded as noncredible.

Furthermore, if parties reach an agreement and it is discovered later that one or both parties failed to provide accurate disclosure, both parties run the risk of having the entire agreement thrown out. These consequences are all costly, and frustrating and result in unnecessary delays. As such, it is important to provide accurate financial disclosure the first time around to ensure that the family law process can move forward in a timely and cost-effective manner.

What is included in Financial Disclosure?

Financial disclosure aims to provide each party with a full and accurate story of their finances. As such financial disclosure will include a financial statement (either Form 13 or Form 13.1 – more information on these two forms next week) as well as supporting documentation. These documents include:

  • Personal Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment and re-assessment for the past three years;

  • For self-employed persons, they will also need to provide financial statements for their business or professional practice;

  • Supporting financial documents such as bank, credit card, investment, mortgage statements, policy documents, home valuations etc.

Depending on your financial situation, gathering documents for disclosure can be a lengthy

process. In any event, we recommend keeping good records, either physically or electronically,

to reduce the hassle during the disclosure process.

Please call us at  905-215-1905 to book a consultation if you have any questions or concerns

regarding financial disclosure in family law proceedings.

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