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Conditions to Regular Disclosure of Financial Issues



A recent case, J.G v. T.-L. G., 2020 ONSC 5217 (CanLII), provides guidance on the issue of what happens when a motion to disclose financial issues is made. What are the tests for such a motion?


Justice Conlan agreed with Justice Faieta, at paragraph 12 of the decision in Pasquali v. Cox2017 ONSC 7654, that the following are some of the factors that should be considered by a judge who is confronted with a financial disclosure motion such as this one:

(i) past compliance with other disclosure orders on the part of the responding party,

(ii) the cost of producing the requested items,

(iii) whether the outstanding items are essential to the issue of the respondent’s income for support purposes,

(iv) whether the court would be able to fairly and justly adjudicate the support issues absent the requested items,

(v) how reasonable the requesting party has/will be on the timeline for providing the requested items,

(vi) whether the requested items can be fairly characterized as over-reaching,

(vii) whether the requesting party has been vigilant in repeatedly asking for the items,

(viii) whether a lesser remedy would suffice, and

(ix) whether the requesting party has discharged the burden of proof.


[10]     On balance, employing those factors, I find that most of the items requested by the mother ought to be provided by the father.


Conlan, J as part of his analysis continues: for self-employed persons who have a history of income being attributed to them, it is not an answer to a relatively basic financial disclosure motion to say, essentially, “read and rely exclusively on my own sworn documents and those of the accountant who works for me”.  To the extent that it is relevant and proportionate to do so, the mother is entitled to go behind the said evidence.


At para 14, the Court ordered that the father shall, within 90 calendar days of August 31, 2020, provide the following items of financial disclosure:

-everything requested at clauses (i) through (v) of paragraph 46(a) of the factum filed on behalf of the mother [for the reader’s benefit, those relate to personal bank statements, RRSP statements, investment statements, credit cards statements, and loan(s) details, all from October 1, 2015 to the present day]; and -everything requested at clauses (vi) through (x) and (xii) through (xiv) of paragraph 46(a) of the factum filed on behalf of the mother [for the reader’s benefit, those relate to a corporate organization chart, corporate financial statements and ledgers including interim statements, shareholders’ agreements, T4 summaries and slips, corporate banking statements, corporate credit cards statements, and an authorization for the mother’s business valuator to speak to Mr. Sorra].


Analysis:

Often, litigants have reasons to demand disclosure of finances from the other side. Often enough, these demands are rejected or not entertained. This case provides a useful analysis on what to expect when asking for a disclosure request.


Rather than litigate as the first step, it would be helpful if the party asking for the disclosure sends out a letter to the other side requesting for financial disclosure and quoting the factors in the above case as to why it is essential to have full and complete disclosure. If this does not work, then, the option would be to go to Court on a motion to disclose.


We work all over Ontario. At Shankar Law, we have your back. We are happy to assist and guide you through whatever challenges you have in your spousal life. We carefully research, analyze and come up with suggestions – first to discuss, and negotiate and then, if necessary, to litigate.


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