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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-17-2005, 07:49 PM
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Default Financial Statements

I would be interested in knowing (in advance) what the rules are around Financial Statements once a payor has remarried. In my situation, I will eventually be marrying a payor whose ex spouse will eventually be coming back to the courts to ask for additional spousal support. Once we are married, my house (legally just in my name right now) and my debts will become ours (from what I understand). How does this appear on the financial statement? Will my spouse be showing just his half of the assets and debt we hold as joint or will he be showing us as a couple (along with all of "our" income)? I am wondering if there is any value (or legal way) that I can keep the house from being included in the mix (ie, would a prenuptual agreement be legal?).
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:47 AM
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Anne, most of the law in this area deals with cases where a person is seeking a reduction in child support due to undue hardship or is seeking a reduction in arrears of unpaid support. In these cases, the financial situation of a new partner is very relevant.

However, if you’re just dealing with ongoing spousal support, I think in most cases (every judge will be different) only your income would need to be disclosed (perhaps your income tax returns, etc). The rest of your financial situation normally would not be relevant.

When a person is filling out a financial statement, they only list what’s theirs. So, if the house and other property remains in your name, there’s no need for your new partner to list it in his financial statement. If you add his name to the house (and you don’t need to do this if you don’t want to) then he would need to list half the value of the house on his financial statement (and maybe half the mortgage as well).

Note that on the Ontario financial statement there’s a spot to be filled out regarding the income of people you’re living with. So, your new partner would be required to disclose your income. As well there’s a section for property disposed of in the last 2 years - in which your new partner would be required to disclose, for instance, any property he transferred to you during the last 2 years.

A prenuptial agreement might help you, but it probably wouldn’t help your new partner in this situation. You could add a clause to the prenuptial agreement that stated that your new partner is not permitted to disclose your financial situation. I’m not sure whether such a clause has ever been looked at by the courts, but assuming it was valid, I would think most judges would draw negative inferences from that about your partner’s financial situation - e.g. assume you are very wealthy and are just trying to hide that fact.

In short, you’ll probably need to disclose your income. But if you keep your property in your name, which you are permitted to do, in most cases regarding spousal support you would not need to disclose your assets.
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:56 AM
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Thanks Jeff. I was under the impression that marriage automatically equated to half ownership of the home.

What I was hoping for was some equality in what is looked at. To disclose my income would give a misleading impression. To disclose everything (debts and assets and another child dependent) would draw a clearer picture of everything. Unfortunately, what I am hearing is my income is the only thing they care about as it would falsely support that my spouse could afford to be paying MORE spousal support. In reality I have a huge debt load, thanks to agreeing to take on the debt from my first marriage. As a couple our disposable income is largely negated by debt incurred via legal expenses, residual loans and day to day operating expenses.

If I was to disclose my income then the financial statement should show the full assets and the full debt as joint...otherwise it is again a misleading picture...ie, half the debt and assets supported by a full income!
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:03 AM
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Anne, nothing stops you or your new partner from voluntarily disclosing more! Normally, people don't want to disclose their financial situation and that's the point of view I was coming from. There's a budget section of the financial statement in which your new partner can show all the expenses he has. You can attach additional information to the financial statement as well. Your partner can explain his financial situation and your financial situation in more detail in the other court documents.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:10 AM
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Thanks again Jeff.

If I am going to be forced to disclose my income, then it would only make sense to disclose everything (debt and dependent costs). IF the judge actually cares to take the time to see the bigger picture then it would be become clear that what you earn on paper does not necessarily translate to money in your pocket...just reallocated elsewhere. It's a big IF.
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