By Cheryl Goldhart
Founder and Principal of Goldhart Law and Goldhart Mediation & Arbitration

Financial disclosure forms are a cornerstone of family law in Ontario. Properly completing these mandatory documents is essential to achieving fair resolutions for separation, divorce and support. This guide from Goldhart Law PC offers a closer look at Forms 13 and 13.1 to empower you through the disclosure process.

1. Introduction to Forms 13 and 13.1

Under Ontario’s Family Law Rules, two key forms are used for financial disclosure during divorce and separation proceedings:

  • Form 13: Financial Statement (Support Claims) — Used when only child or spousal support is at issue.
  • Form 13.1: Financial Statement (Property and Support Claims) — Required when dealing with both support and property division matters.

These forms aim to provide complete transparency into each spouse’s financial situation, including income, expenses, assets and debts. This enables:

  • Informed negotiations for separation agreements
  • Fair calculations for support amounts
  • Equitable division of property

Full financial disclosure is mandatory for all parties. Let’s look at how to correctly complete these critical documents.

2. Overview of Forms 13 and 13.1

While Forms 13 and 13.1 are similar, there are some key differences depending on your situation:

Form 13 Form 13.1
For child or spousal support only For property division and support
Shorter, fewer sections Longer, more detailed
Common for unmarried couples Used for married spouses
No property division Covers valuation and division of property

Common Sections

Both forms require disclosure of:

  • Personal information
  • Income details
  • Monthly living expenses
  • Special expenses for children
  • Value of current assets and liabilities

Key sections in Form 13.1 only:

  • Property – Real estate, vehicles, investments, pensions, etc. existing at the date of marriage, the date of separation and currently
  • Debts — Mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc. existing at the date of marriage, the date of separation and currently
  • Claims for any exclusions (i.e. inheritance or gifts from third parties)
  • Insurance information

Let’s look at how to approach each section properly.

3. Steps for Completing Financial Statement Forms

While the forms are straightforward, accuracy and completeness are vital. Follow these key steps:

Step 1. Determine the Right Form

  • If unmarried (common law) — Use Form 13 for support claims only.
  • If married — Use Form 13.1 for property and support claims.

Step 2. Gather Supporting Financial Documents

To complete the forms, you’ll need to compile supporting paperwork like:

  • Recent tax returns
  • Pay stubs
  • Mortgage statements
  • Bank statements
  • RRSP details
  • Receipts for expenses
  • Property appraisals
  • Credit card statements

Organize these files before starting.

Step 3. Fill Out All Sections Fully and Accurately

When providing income details:

  • List all employments and sources of income separately, even if they are shown consolidated on your tax return.
  • Include all income sources – employment, pensions, government benefits, dividends, rent, business income, etc.
  • Provide details like employer name and address, job title, and length of employment.

When listing monthly living expenses:

  • Categorize expenses into required types like shelter, transportation, food, etc.
  • Break down consolidated amounts into individual expenses.
  • Calculate weekly or annual expenses into monthly amounts.
  • Avoid listing only large, obvious expenses – include ALL usual costs like subscriptions, banking fees, haircuts, gifts, etc.

When disclosing assets:

  • Include ALL assets in your name or jointly held (including assets held by others in trust for you), even if acquired before the relationship.
  • List the current fair market value of assets – do not use original purchase prices.
  • Get professional appraisals done for real estate, vehicles, jewelry, art, collectibles, etc. to determine current values.
  • Obtain expert valuation of business interests
  • Note details like purchase dates, joint ownership, beneficiaries, account numbers.

When listing debts and liabilities:

  • Disclose ALL debts and liabilities owing – mortgages, car loans, credit cards, overdrafts, taxes owing, etc.
  • Provide original amount borrowed, outstanding balance, interest rates, minimum payments, etc.
  • Indicate if debt was incurred jointly or individually.
  • List debts owed to relatives or friends as well.

Step 4. Pay Special Attention to Expenses for Children

Outline any extraordinary needs and costs relating to:

  • Child care
  • Education
  • Medical requirements
  • Extracurricular activities

This information is used to determine appropriate child support amounts.

Step 5. Seek Guidance from a Professional if Needed

Don’t hesitate to consult an experienced Canadian family lawyer such as Goldhart Law PC if you need assistance with:

  • Determining the right form
  • Deciding which details to include
  • Calculating complex asset values
  • Understanding legal implications
  • Checking for completeness and accuracy

Getting professional guidance reduces errors and avoids problems down the road. Goldhart Law PC can assist you with these matters.

Step 6. Provide Documentation to Your Former Spouse

You must disclose:

  • Your completed Form 13 or 13.1
  • A Form 13A Certificate of Financial Disclosure
  • All supporting financial documents

Your spouse must also reciprocate with their documentation.

Step 7. If a Court Application has been commenced, File the Forms with the Court

You’ll file:

  • Your Form 13 or 13.1
  • Form 13A
  • Select supporting documents
  • Form 6B Affidavit of Service

This formally submits your financial disclosure to the courts.

4. Implications of Incomplete or Inaccurate Disclosure

It is critical that financial statements are:

  • Complete — no missing information
  • Truthful — honest representation
  • Accurate — exact figures
  • Supported — documentation provided

Consequences of deficient disclosure include:

  • Delays in proceedings
  • Dismissal of your filing
  • Rejection of your settlement
  • Retroactive support orders
  • An unfair outcome
  • Penalties for non-disclosure

Judges look upon incomplete or evasive disclosure very negatively. You must make every reasonable effort to conduct full, honest disclosure.

5. The Role of Financial Statements in Negotiations and Court Proceedings

How proper disclosure enables resolution:

  • Allows informed negotiations for separation agreements
  • Provides basis for fair support amounts
  • Enables equitable property division
  • Shows willingness to be transparent

Key uses of Form 13.1 in court proceedings:

  • Determines “net family property” which guides asset division
  • Provides valuation of assets to be divided
  • Calculates incomes for support orders
  • Proves or disproves claims about expenses
  • Shows whether unjust enrichment has occurred

Financial statements give family courts insight into your unique situation to make suitable rulings.

6. Getting Support for Completing the Forms

Don’t hesitate to get legal advice and assistance with your financial statement.

You can get support from:

  • An experienced family law lawyer in Ontario such as Goldhart Law PC
  • Legal aid clinic
  • Family court staff

They can help with:

  • Selecting the right form
  • Understanding disclosure requirements
  • Organizing supporting documents
  • Calculating values
  • Ensuring accuracy before filing

Getting professional guidance reduces errors and avoids problems down the road.

7. Final Thoughts

Full, honest financial disclosure using Form 13 or 13.1 is mandatory in Ontario family law proceedings. Although the forms appear straightforward, carefully following proper procedures is key.

Being organized, thorough and accurate on these forms brings you one step closer to the outcome you desire. Don’t be afraid to consult professionals like lawyers (such as Goldhart Law PC) to assist you through the process.

With a commitment to transparency through proper financial disclosure, you will be better equipped to move forward and achieve fair resolutions.

For further information regarding family law issues, see our 2024 Ontario Family Law Guide to Divorce and Separation and our 2024 Essential Guide to Finacial Disclosure in Ontario for Spearation and Divorce.

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Cheryl Goldhart is a family law lawyer who can make a difference in resolving your family disputes.

  • Near Four Decades of Experience: Cheryl’s distinguished career spans nearly four decades devoted exclusively to the practice of family law.
  • Masters Degree in Counselling: With a Masters Degree in Counselling, Cheryl brings a unique blend of both empathy and insight to your case.
  • Law Society Certified Family Law Specialist: Cheryl’s expertise is reflected in her certification as a Family Law Specialist.
  • OAFM Accredited Family Mediator: The Ontario Association for Family Mediation has accredited Cheryl’s expertise as a mediator.
  • Recognized by ADR Institute: Cheryl’s arbitration expertise has been formally recognized with a professional designation from the ADR Institute of Ontario.
  • Recipient of Numerous Honours and Awards: Cheryl has been honoured with numerous accolades, awards and honors for her significant contributions to family law,including the Ontario Bar Association’s prestigious Award for Excellence in Family Law.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Consult with a qualified family law attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. Goldhart Law Professional Corporation is not responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented in this blog.


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