Financial Disclosures for Domestic Contracts
In family law, financial disclosure may be relevant to both issues of child or spousal support and property division. The importance of exchanging accurate financial information prior to signing a domestic contract will depend on the nature of the contract in question. Our Edmonton family lawyers can help walk you through the necessary financial disclosures for your domestic contract.
What Are the Necessary Financial Disclosures?
In order to sign an agreement that outlines how property will be divided upon a couple's separation, it is necessary for both parties to disclose the particulars of all assets and debts, the date they were acquired, and their estimated value. Assets may include:
- - Real estate
- - Vehicles
- - Financial assets such as bank accounts, stocks and insurance policies
- - Pensions and RRSPs
- - Business interests
- - Personal property.
Debts may be secured against a specific asset, or left unsecured, and may include:
- - Mortgages
- - Lines of credit
- - Personal loans
- - Vehicle loans
- - Overdrafts
- - Credit card debt.
In order to sign an agreement with respect to spousal support or child support, it will be necessary to disclose sufficient information to determine the payor's income, the needs of the recipient spouse, and particular expenses that have been incurred for the children.
The level of disclosure necessary may vary depending on what type of agreement you are signing. For example, if a marriage agreement promises the payor spouse will pay spousal support based on their income at the time of separation, it may be more important to know the payor spouse's exact income at the time of separation than what it was at the time of the marriage.
Why Is Financial Disclosure Important for the Preparation of Domestic Contracts?
If you do not take the time to provide and receive the necessary financial disclosure before you sign a domestic contract, your domestic contract may later be found to be invalid. This is because a person who signed an agreement based on misinformation cannot truly be said to have understood the agreement they were entering. The more complete your financial disclosure, the stronger your agreement will be considered by the court, if it ever becomes necessary for the court to review it.
What Can You Do if You Signed a Domestic Contract Without Accurate Financial Disclosure?
Sometimes spouses sign a domestic contract and one spouse later discovers information that makes them realize the contract was unfair. It may be that the other spouse failed to disclose the existence of an asset or a source of income. It may be that the spouse provided misinformation about the value of an asset, or failed to provide up-to-date information. Just because you have signed an agreement, does not mean it is too late to get a fair deal based on accurate financial disclosure. A court has the jurisdiction to order that a domestic contract is invalid if it is based on inadequate financial disclosure.
Contact our Edmonton Family Lawyers Today For a Consultation
Our Edmonton family lawyers can work to ensure that you understand everything you need to with respect to financial disclosures for domestic contracts. Contact us to book a consultation today.
*Please be advised, this article provides a general overview on the topic of financial disclosures for domestic contracts, and is not intended as legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.