Necessity of Financial Disclosure

Hi, my name is Bo Luan and I am an associate here at Feldstein Family Law Group. Today I will be discussing with you the necessity of the financial disclosure exchange.

The financial disclosure exchange is one of the first steps in your matter. At the beginning of your matter, your lawyer will ask for various documents, including:

  1. Documents related to your income – usually for the last three taxation years;
  2. Documents related to the value of your assets and liabilities both at the date of your marriage or cohabitation and at the date of separation; and lastly
  3. Disclosure related to special or extraordinary expenses for your children.

You will also be asked to complete a Financial Statement which sets out the relevant information pertaining to your financial circumstances.

Although this task seems overwhelming, it is absolutely necessary so that your counsel is able to understand your situation, and, more importantly, protect your interests moving forward. This disclosure will then be provided to your former partner and is necessary in order to commence negotiating a resolution to your matter. Without this exchange of financial disclosure, any Agreement you reach to resolve your matter is at risk of being set aside pursuant to section 56(4) of the Family Law Act.

Financial disclosure is therefore both legally necessary and practically essential.

  • We require your income information because:
  1. If you are the payor, your income will determine how much child and spousal support you may have to pay.
  2. If you have an equal-time or nearly equal-time parenting arrangement, your respective incomes will determine the set off amount of child support to be paid by one party to the other.
  3. If you are a spouse who is entitled to spousal support, your income will help determine the amount you may receive.
  4. And for all parents, your incomes will determine your proportional share of your children’s special or extraordinary expenses.
  • We require documents setting out the values of your assets and liabilities at the date of marriage and the date of separation so that we can calculate your net family property for the purposes of determining the issue of equalization.
  • We require documentary evidence of your children’s special or extraordinary expenses so that we can determine each party’s proportional amount of these expenses.

A sworn financial statement summarizes your income, assets and liabilities in one document. This document is relied upon moving forward regardless of whether you proceed to litigate your matter or reach a resolution through negotiation.

Again, the exchange of this financial disclosure is absolutely necessary because without this exchange, any Agreement reached between you and your former partner is at risk of being set aside. And few parties – and fewer lawyers – will agree to negotiate in the first place in the absence of proper financial disclosure.

For more information regarding the issue of financial disclosure and a Financial Statement, please feel free to visit our website at or call us at 905-581-7222 to schedule a free initial consultation.

I’m Bo Luan. Thanks for listening.