As you begin your journey in completing your financial statement, Disclosure Clinic is here to help. 

Below is a step by step process – and that process does not start with filling out the financial statement. 

(1) File Storage

Before you start working on your financial statement, find either a place on your computer or a cloud storage site that works for you. Collecting necessary documents will help you organize and share them, which is a key component to the financial disclosure process. In choosing a storage site, consider: 

  • Ease of access for you
  • User interface for the device(s) you will likely use for uploading and for organizing
  • Ease of uploading
  • Privacy Settings
  • Ease of controlling the sharing features
  • Amount of storage space provided vs cost
  • Additional features, such as search, listing contents and editing within the cloud

Currently, Disclosure Clinic relies on Google Drive because many clients have Gmail accounts, so it is easy to collaborate. But even having a folder on your computer is a good start. For a list of online storage options, with relative pros and cons, see this website

(2) Make Folders for your documents

It’s essential that you keep track of your documents, so you will want to make folders. We’ll give you two options here, simple and more detailed. We recommend naming the folders with numbers 01, 02… to keep them in the order of the financial statement. This will make it easier for you to know where to drop your documents into. 

Option 1: Simple Folder list

Create the following five folders:

01 Income

02 Expenses

03 Assets

04 Debts

05 Other

Or click here to download the folders already created (you will need to open a ZIP file).

Option 2: Complete Folder list

The more complete folder list includes folders for (almost) every section of the financial statement:

01 Income

02 Budget and Expenses 

04a Land  

04b Household Goods and Vehicles

04c Savings and Accounts

04d Insurance 

04e Business Interests

04f Money owed to Me 

04g Other Property 

05 Debts and Other Liabilities 

06a Date of Marriage Assets 

06b Date of Marriage Debts and Liabilities 

07 Excluded Property   

08 Disposed of Property 

Or click here to download the folders already created (you will need to open a ZIP file).

You are doing great so far, and well ahead others going through this process without this preparation.

(3) A quick word on naming your documents

There is no “correct” way to name your documents, so don’t worry. If you are looking for some consistency, we recommend the following:

Income and Expense Documents

[name of document] – [your name] – [date of document]

2022 Income Tax Return – Y. Name – 2023.04.30

2022 Notice of Assessment – Y. Name – 2023.05.10

Pay Stub – Y. Name – 2023.07.03

Other Documents

One trick is to name the document using the column order of the financial statement table that the document belongs to. For example, for Savings and Accounts, or for Debts and Other liabilities, try:

[type of account] – [Institution] – [date of document] [type of document]

Chequing – RBC – 5576 – 2023.07.03 screenshot

TFSA – CIBC – 9981 – 2023.07.03 printout

Mortgage – Simplii Financial – 3343 – 2023.07.03 statement

[Child’s Name] – Camp – 2023.07.03 registration invoice

(4) Know what documents to start gathering

The documents you need to provide are based on the legal claims you are making, the legal claims you may be defending against and your particular finances. Some documents are required in all circumstances and others may require a review of your circumstances to really pinpoint what you need to provide to justify your legal positions.

(A) Income Documents

Use our Document Checklist for Support Claims – DC Form 13(3.1)

Or, for another starting point on income documents, download this list, compiled by the York Law Association. 

See also our poster, Top 5 Income Documents to Provide

(B) Expense Documents

Generally you don’t need to document your entries for the Expenses section unless your budget becomes a primary issue in your circumstances. 

You definitely should collect either invoices or receipts for children’s expenses that will form a claim of Special and Extra Ordinary Expenses (found at Schedule B of the Form 13.1). The Document Checklist for Support Claims – DC Form 13(3.1) includes a section focusing on child expenses.

(C) Property Documents
Whereas we’ve recommended Income gathering documents before working on the financial statement, it’s the other way around for the Property section. Fill out the form first to list what was owned and owed, then use that list to create a checklist of documents you’ll need to collect. The trick is to start with “today” to list what you own and owe, and work backward in time:

1. For each section, try to fill out the list of what you own and owe (i.e. your assets, accounts and debts) for the “Today” column.

2. Then think about whether you owned the same assets, accounts and debts at Valuation Date. If you didn’t, write “N/A” as the value as of Valuation date.

3. Still on Valuation date, think if you had any other assets, accounts and debts then that no longer exist as of today. Perhaps you sold a property, changed jobs or closed accounts. List those as well, and put N/A in the Today column.

4. Hardest yet, is to think back to the date you civilly married: did you have the same assets, accounts and debts as Today or Valuation Date? Did you owe or own any additional line items that no longer exist at Valuation Date/Today?

Hopefully you will start to see a list of items that you owned or owed, for each of Marriage Date, Valuation Date and Today. Now you can start the document collection.

(1) For each line item, we are looking to document that you owned it and it’s value on the applicable date. Some documents may contain both, for example a bank statement will have your name on it and the value on the applicable date. 

(2) Some assets you will have to have separate documents for ownership and value. Usually those are items that require “opinion evidence” such as a house property appraisal, to determine the exact value. Before seeking those values, be sure to obtain the ownership documents first. Paying for appraisals may require coordination with the other party and you do not necessarily have to have that done right away. 

List of Property documents  
The Family Law Rules contains a list of specific property documents to collect, based mostly on the above. You can download a cross-check summary chart here.

(5) Step-by-Step Help

We completed a mock DC Form 13.1 Financial Statement for you to look through so you see what a completed statement can look like. 

Keep your notes simple and straightforward. If you don’t know specific information, don’t guess. Estimate – and say so. 

Not every place for notes needs to be completed. They are there to complement or qualify the information you are providing. 

There are many websites discussing financial disclosure in family law, but there are limited resources to get useable information on completing specific aspects of a financial statement. We’re always looking and we are in process of building more resources to answer your specific questions on how to complete certain line items. 

(6) Websites you’ll find really helpful

(7) Still Lost?

Competing the Financial Statement is not easy. That’s why we created this site. 

If you are still stuck on your financial statement, consider a Disclosure Clinic consultation. We provide real advice, promptly and efficiently. For more information, see How it works