I am separated, and I am being asked to provide financial disclosure. Do I have to?
One of the fundamental tenets of family law is financial disclosure. There is a certain level of basic disclosure all parties should be making: a sworn financial statement; the last 3 years income tax returns and notices of assessments and a current paystub; documentation to support date of marriage and date of separation assets and liabilities. Valuations may be necessary too, for instance, of real property or pensions. The financial disclosure is necessary for parties to make informed decisions about the issues, including property division, equalization, and child and/or spousal support. This is so important that, in a recent case, the presiding judge actually cancelled the parties’ settlement conference for lack of disclosure readiness. The level of disclosure is said to be based on a degree of fairness and reasonableness to disclosure – the disclosure must be relevant and necessary. So, the proverbial “fishing expedition” is shunned. In short, get your relevant documents in order, give them to the other side in a timely manner, and be ready, whether for settlement discussions out of court or at court; doing so will save a lot of time, money and aggravation. We do a lot of family/divorce law, with offices in Georgetown, Brampton and Caledon East. In light of COVID-19, we are doing most everything virtually. So we are happy to have a Zoom meeting or a telephone call without charge to you to see if we can assist you. Have a great weekend.