How Important is Financial Disclosure for a Separation Agreement

For those couples who are in the process of separating and who are looking to settle all related issues, it will become clear that, except for all issues related to issues of child access and custody, everything else will be targeted around financial issues. For this reason, it is important that in respect of every aspect of a separation process both parties should ensure that they have an accurate and full idea of the finances of the other spouse. They should also make sure that they disclose their own financial circumstances. This is why it can be beneficial to have a separation lawyer in Ontario take a look at the situation and advise you as to what should be disclosed.

So that the joint family property in the cases of married couples can be equalized, it is important that both parties are able to illustrate the values associated with any liabilities and assets they might have on the date they separated. They should also be able to show the value of all of the assets and liabilities on the date when they married. Both parties will be required to provide a complete financial record for both of these dates. In addition to this, both parties will also be required to provide documentation in relation to any assets that they believe should not be included in their date of separation assets, this might include, but not be limited to, gifts or inheritance settlements.

Payer’s income and the number of children are the only factors that are used to determine Child Support payments. For this payment full financial disclosure of the payer’s income, on an annual basis, is necessary. This income is also used to determine any obligations that there might be to spousal support.

If you are submitting an application to the court in order to resolve your marriage finances, then the court will request a detailed financial disclosure that is accurate. You will be required to swear that the financial statements that you have provided are accurate. Even if you want to settle these issues outside of the courtroom, you will still need to provide complete and accurate details. You have a responsibility to give a full financial disclosure to your partner, or their separation lawyer in Ontario if requested to do so. If you have negotiated a separation agreement with your spouse, but this separation agreement does not give a true representation of your actual financial situation, then your spouse will be able to apply to the court later in order to have that agreement set aside due to your inaccurate disclosure.

It is never a good idea to provide information that in incomplete in the assumption that your spouse will not eventually discover that you have other sources of income or other assets. If you do so in the hope to save money, then there is a good chance that you will need to spend this money, and a good bit more later on, in order to pay legal fees and even retroactive payments. If your case comes before a court, then you may also have to pay costs made against you.

What is Child Support?

Child support refers to the payments that are made on a regular basis towards the ongoing support of a child or children. Both parents do have a legal obligation to provide financial support in respect of their children, but usually it is the parent who has custody who bears the brunt of the majority of the costs involved with rearing a child – this might include providing housing, clothing, food, transportation on a day to day basis and even schooling. In order to offset this clear imbalance, the parent who does not have custody, the non-custodial parent is required to contribute financially towards the expenses involved in raising a child. Child support is paid to the parent who has custody.

In Canada the amount of child support that is to be paid is mandated by the Federal Child Support Guidelines as well as the Federal Child Support Tables, these are a list of rules that are used to accurately calculate the amount that should be paid by the non-custodial parent in the event of a separation or divorce.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Sometimes referred to as alimony, spousal maintenance is the financial support that is sometimes, but not always, paid by one spouse to the other in the event of a marriage break up. The reason for spousal maintenance is that it offers a redistribution of wealth so that one spouse does not find themselves in a situation where they face inequality of a financial nature following the end of a relationship. This is especially relevant for those marriages where one parent stayed at home to raise children, or both spouses earned very different amounts from their jobs.

Can An Ontario Family Lawyer Help?

All too often it is not clear to either party what exactly should, and what shouldn’t be classed as an asset, how an accurate income amount is determined and what things they need to disclose. If you have any worries or concerns about any of this, then it is a good idea to seek out a separation lawyer in Ontario who deals in family law. They will be your best resource, any third party professional who is able to help you determine an accurate value of your various assets; business, stock options, or your home is also a good choice. The financial information that both parties disclose is often incomplete or inaccurate. This is not usually intentional but simply a human error. Unfortunately, whether this provision of inaccurate information was intentional or not it can cause issues with your family law matter by complicating it and making it take a lot longer to complete. In order to ensure that your issues are resolved as promptly and accurately as possible, it is important that you make sure that any financial information that you provide is accurate in the first place, which is why having a separation lawyer in Ontario is so beneficial.

 

What is a Certificate of Financial Disclosure?

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