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An Introduction to Rule 13 of the Family Law Rules

A financial statement is a sworn document used in the context of family law proceedings to ascertain prompt and accurate financial disclosure.

If the claim made is only for support, then Form 13 is used. For all other claims, Form 13.1 is applicable.

Rule 13(1)(a) of the Family Law Rules provides that a party making a claim for support, property, or exclusive possession of a matrimonial home and its contents must serve and file a financial statement along with the documentation that contains the claim. If the only claim for support is for child support in the base amount as specified in the Child Support Guidelines, then the party making the claim does not have to file a financial statement unless the party is also making a property claim or a claim for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home.

Rule 13(1)(b) outlines that the party against whom the claim is made must also serve and file a financial statement, irrespective of whether that party intends to defend against the claim.

According to Rule 13(10) the clerk of the court is prohibited from accepting an Application, Answer, Reply, Notice of Motion or Affidavit in response to be filed if the Family Law Rules require that the document be filed with a financial statement and no financial statement is provided.

Rule 13(6) requires that a party serving a financial statement make full and frank disclosure of his or her financial situation and attach documents to prove his or her income (being income tax returns and notices of assessment for the previous three years). According to Rule 13(7) of the Family Law Rules, a court clerk is prohibited from accepting a financial statement of a party unless these documents are attached, except where the financial statement contains a sworn statement that the party is not required to file an income tax return in accordance with the Indian Act.

Rule 13(12) mandates that every party update his or her financial statement before case conferences, motions, a settlement confrence or trial, assuming that the information is more than thirty days old. If there have only been minor changes, a party can instead file an affidavit detailing these changes. Furthermore, in accordance with Rule 13(15) of the Family Law Rules, as soon as a party discovers that the information in his or her financial statement is incorrect or incomplete or there has been a material change to the information provided, that party must immediately serve and file the corrected information with documents substantiating this.

Rule 13(17) provides that if a party does not give information as required under this Rule, the court may:

  • Dismiss the party’s case;
  • Strike out any document filed by the party;
  • Make a contempt order against that party;
  • Order that any information that should have appeared on the statement may not be used by the party on the motion or at the trial;
  • Make any other appropriate order.