The Essential Guide to Form 13 & Form 13.1: Ontario Family Law Financial Disclosure

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 offers an in-depth look at Form 13 and Form 13.1 to empower you through the disclosure process.

1. Introduction to Form 13 and Form 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 Form 13 and Form 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 separation and currently
  • Debts – Mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc. existing at 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 Form 13 and Form 13.1

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

Step A. 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 B. 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 C. 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 regular costs like subscriptions, banking fees, haircuts, gifts, etc.

When disclosing assets:

  • Include ALL assets in your name or jointly held, 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 D. 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 E. Seek Guidance from a Professional if Needed

Don’t hesitate to consult an experienced Canadian family lawyer 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.

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

You’ll file:

  • Your Form 13.1 or 13
  • 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 in Form 13 and Form 13.1

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 Form 13 and Form 13.1

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

You can get support from:

  • A Canadian family law lawyer
  • Mediator
  • 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 and mediators 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.

Appendix: Quick Reference Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it mandatory to fill out Form 13 or Form 13.1?

  • Yes, full financial disclosure is mandatory in Ontario family law proceedings.

Can I fill out the form myself or do I need a lawyer?

  • While you can fill out the form yourself, consulting a family law lawyer is advisable for accuracy and completeness.

What happens if I don’t disclose all my assets or liabilities?

  • Incomplete or inaccurate disclosure can lead to delays, penalties, and may negatively affect the outcome of your case.

How often do I need to update my financial statement?

  • You should update your financial statement whenever there is a significant change in your financial situation and if your matter is before the courts, there are rules concerning when an updated financial statement must be filed.

What should I do if my spouse refuses to provide their financial statement?

  • Legal remedies are available if your spouse refuses to comply, including court orders compelling disclosure.

Are these forms applicable outside Ontario?

  • No, Forms 13 and 13.1 are specific to Ontario family law.

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Cheryl Goldhart is a Mediator Who Can Make a Difference in resolving your family disputes.

  • Near Four Decades of Family Law Experience: Cheryl’s extensive experience in family law ensures you’re in capable hands.
  • Masters Degree in Counselling: She resolves family law disputes with a unique combination of empathy, insightfulness and emotional intelligence.
  • Certified Family Law Specialist: Cheryl’s certification from the Law Society of Ontario reflects her recognized expertise in the area.
  • Accredited Family Mediator: She is an Accredited Family Mediator of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation, making her a trusted choice for resolving disputes.
  • ADR Professional: Accredited as an ADR Professional by Ontario’s ADR Institute, Cheryl is a highly respected arbitrator.
  • Award-Winning Dedication: A recipient of numerous professional accolades and awards, Cheryl is particularly proud of being a recipient of the prestigious Ontario Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Family Law.

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