What Are the Requirements for Financial Statements in Family Law Cases?
A financial statement is a sworn document used in family law proceedings to reveal a party’s financial status. If the claim is only for support Form 13 is used. For all other claims, Form 13.1 is required. Rule 13(1)(a) of the Family Law Rules requires a party making a claim for support, property, or exclusive possession of a matrimonial home and its contents to serve and file a financial statement, along with the documentation that supports the claim. If the claim is only for Guideline child support, a financial statement need not be served and filed unless the party is also making a property or a claim for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home.
Rule 13(1)(b) requires a party against whom a claim is made to serve and file a financial statement, regardless of whether that party intends to defend against it. Rule 13(10) prohibits the clerk of the court from accepting for filing an Application, Answer, Reply, Notice of Motion or an Affidavit if the Family Law Rules require that the document is to be filed with a financial statement and none is provided.
Rule 13(6) requires a party serving a financial statement to make full and frank disclosure of his or her financial circumstances and to attach the required documents to prove his or her income, including income tax returns and notices of assessment for the previous three years.
Rule 13(7) prohibits the clerk of the court from accepting a financial statement of a party unless these documents are attached, except where the financial statement contains a sworn statement that the party is not required to file an income tax return in accordance with the Indian Act.
Rule 13(12) requires that every party update his or her financial statement before the case conference, a motion, the settlement conference, or the trial if the financial statement is by the event more than thirty days old. If there have only been minor changes, a party may instead file an affidavit outlining any changes. Further still, Rule 13(15) requires that as soon as a party discovers that the information in his or her financial statement is incorrect, incomplete, or there has been a material change to the information provided, immediately to serve and file the corrected information with the documents substantiating the change.
Rule 13(17) provides that if a party does not give information as required the court may:
a) Dismiss the party’s case; b) Strike out any document filed by the party; c) Make a contempt order against that party; d) Order that any information that should have appeared on the statement may not be used by the party on the motion or at the trial; and e) Make any other appropriate order.