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Preparing Financial Statements: Tips for Success – Part One

Man typing on a calculator and filling out forms

Preparing Financial Statements for a family law matter can be quite a daunting task. However,

we have compiled a few helpful tips to get you started and take some of the stress out of this

process. If you are new to financial disclosure and the various financial statement forms, please

check out the following posts before proceeding:

Before you fill out your financial statement form, you must gather and store all your supporting financial information (bank, credit card, mortgage statements etc.). Depending on the volume of supporting documents you have, you may wish to create file folders on your computer and label and store these documents accordingly. If storage is a concern or if you wish to have these items accessible across multiple devices, there are several secure cloud-based storage and sharing sites such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Sync.

Now that you have gathered all your documents, in the upcoming sections, we will explore key parts of Financial Statements, specifically within the Form 13.1 Financial Statement, and how to

fill them out.

Part 1: Income

The goal for this particular section is to represent your current employment status (employed,

self-employed or unemployed) as well as your monthly income from all sources. This can include child support, child tax benefits, rental income etc. You will also note which supporting documents you will be attaching to support your income. These include pay cheque stubs, pension stubs, statements of income and expenses, job letters or otherwise as well as personal tax returns or notices of assessments for the past three years.

While this section is straightforward, there are common questions which can arise. We will

explore a few of these below:

What if I don’t get paid monthly?

Like most people in Canada, you probably are not paid on a monthly basis. As such, you will need

to convert your income to monthly. We have included some helpful conversions below:

Paid per week: [pay] x 4.33 = [your monthly pay]

Paid biweekly: [pay] x 2.16 = [your monthly pay]

Paid semi-monthly (twice a month): [pay] x 2 = [your monthly pay]

What if my income fluctuates from year to year?

In this instance, you can insert your previous year’s income, divided by 12, and add a note indicating that this has been done.

Part 2: Expenses

This next section requires a layout of all your current monthly expenses. These include expenses such as rent and housing costs, utilities, insurance (car, health, dental, life etc.), subscriptions, etc. If any of these expenses are weekly or annual expenses, you will need to calculate the monthly cost when filling out this section. Additionally, if there are any consolidated amounts, you may need to break these down or add a note indicating that they are bundled.

Pro tip: Be honest, list all regular costs and expenses and utilize notes if necessary. There is no

penalty to add brief clarifying notes to your financial statement.

Part 3: Other income earners in the home

If you are making or responding to a claim for undue hardship or spousal support, you will need

to complete this section. You will need to note whether you live alone, with other adults, whether

there are any children in the home, the employment status of the other adults in the home and

whether or not they contribute towards the household expenses.

In our next post, we will explore more tips for success and how to go about filling out Parts 4

(land, general household expenses, assets, excluded property etc.) and 5 (debts and other

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

concerns regarding completing and providing financial statements in family law proceedings.


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