Financial disclosure

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Financial information may be required by the court from one or both spouses. When you are required to provide financial information, this usually means you have to file:

  • a sworn or affirmed Statement of Income
  • your last 3 years of income tax returns
  • your last 3 years of notices of assessment or reassessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) AND
  • 2 recent pay-stubs, or other official documents showing your current year-to-date income
    • This may include benefits statements from the Department of Community Services, Employment Insurance, or Workers’ Compensation.
    • If you are self-employed, you will also have to provide business statements as part of your financial disclosure.

You should speak to court staff to learn exactly what you will be required to file in your circumstances.

If you do not have your notices of assessment or reassessment from the Canada Revenue Agency, you can request copies by contacting CRA at 1-800-959-8281, or printing them from your CRA online account.

For any divorce, contested or uncontested, if there are ‘children of the marriage,’ up-to-date financial disclosure is required from one or both spouses. This is true even in situations where you and your spouse have agreed on child support amounts, or have agreed that there will be no support paid because of a shared or split parenting arrangement, or other situation. This is because the Federal Child Support Guidelines – the rules that determine the amount of child support to be paid - are law, and the judge must make sure that children are being financially supported according to these Guidelines, at the time the divorce is being processed. If the judge isn’t satisfied that your arrangements meet the Guidelines, your divorce may not be granted.

A ‘child of the marriage’ is defined in the Divorce Act, and means a child who is under the age of majority (which is 19 in Nova Scotia), OR is at or over the age of majority, but still ‘dependent’ (for example, is still in school, or cannot support themselves because of a disability).

If you had children with your spouse, but the children are over the age of majority (19 in Nova Scotia) and independent, they are no longer considered ‘children of the marriage’ under the Divorce Act, and you do not need to include their information in your divorce documents. Or, if you wish, you can name them in your documents, and indicate that they are over 19 and independent, and no longer requiring support.

A waiver of financial statements can be filed if there are no children of the marriage and the divorce is uncontested. You CANNOT file a waiver of financial statements if there are children under 19 or children who are still dependent (for a reason like they are in school or are unable to support themselves because of a disability). In any given circumstance, though, a judge may ask for further financial information before granting the divorce and corollary relief orders, regardless of any agreements made between the spouses.