01 Aug Financial Disclosure
Often the key to settling financial matters in a separation is gathering all the necessary financial information. Money is a major part of a separation. Child support, spousal support and division of assets and debts are all dependent on accurate financial information. Once parties have an understanding of the financial options, they are empowered to negotiate and enter into an agreement.
Parties are often very reluctant to disclose their financial information to their former spouse. The idea behind financial disclosure is putting parties on a level playing field, giving them greater confidence to come to a fair settlement. When parties do not understand their financial position, they become paralyzed in the legal process. How can you even begin negotiations unless you have the full financial picture?
Depending on your particular circumstances, there may be more documentation to provide, but at a minimum, parties should disclose the following documentation (if it applicable to your financial situation):
- Income Information, such as:
- your three most recent Income Tax Returns;
- your three most recent Notices of Assessment and Reassessment;
- your three most recent paystubs
- your three most recent Employment Insurance benefit statements;
- your three most recent Worker’s Compensation benefit statements;
- a statement confirming the amount of social assistance that you receive
- Statements and other Information regarding your assets and debts:
- Family Residence, with its loans.
- Other Real Estate, with its loans. This includes time-shares.
- Three most recent financial statements and income tax returns for any Owner-Operated Businesses, corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships.
- Incorporation documents for any corporation of which you are a director.
- If you are the beneficiary of a trust, the trust’s three most recent income tax returns.
- Life Insurance insuring each party’s life, together with cash surrender value.
- Pension Documentation
- Employee Benefits, including stock, stock options, profit sharing, retirement, stock purchase, accrued sick and vacation pay, paid time off, etc.
- Investments – Limited partnerships, joint ventures and other such investments.
- Account Balances on deposit in the checking, savings, credit union, brokerage, and other institutional accounts. This includes RRSPs, and other such cash accounts.
- Stock, Stock Options, and Bonds.
- Vehicles (cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, boats), with their loans.
- Household Furniture, furnishings, equipment and personal effects of significant value.
- Law Suits or Insurance proceeds or liabilities.
- Money Owed To Others (loans made, lines of credit, second mortgages, and so forth)
- Money Owed To You
- Intellectual Property (royalties, patents, computer programs, prizes, and the like, including work in progress at separation).
- Frequent Flier Miles accrued during marriage.
- Club Memberships or Season Tickets.
- Reimbursements and Credits Owed for payments of marital bills or loans made after separation.
- The most recent Notice of Assessment issued by an assessment authority for your property.