How do I fill out a Financial Statement?
One of the most important documents you will complete during the separation process is a Financial Statement. This document sets out your income and expenses, as well as your assets and debts on important dates. The Financial Statement is a court form, but is often used for mediation, arbitration, and collaborative family law cases as well. You can find the form here.
The Financial Statement can be overwhelming when you first look at it, but is not as hard to fill out as it seems on first glance. Before you start, find your latest paystub, your income tax returns and Notices of Assessment, and your bank statements and other financial documents from around the time of your separation. Take a deep breath and tackle one part at a time. As you fill it out, here are some tips and answers to common questions.
Part 1: Your Income
There is a table where you set out your income sources and the amount received from each. Keep in mind that:
- You put the monthly amount on lines 1-11.
- If you are paid bi-weekly, divide your bi-weekly pay by 2 and multiply by 4.33 to get a monthly amount.
- Put the gross amount, not the net amount, in this Table.
- Your deductions are listed in the next part of the form.
Part 2: Expenses
Be careful when you are entering your automatic deductions. If you are looking at a paystub from near the end of the year, they might not be deducting EI or CPP because you are “maxed out”. Likewise, if you are looking at a paystub from early in the year, they might not take the same amount out of every paystub all year.
You will have some expenses that are monthly, like your rent or mortgage, and others that only come up a few times a year, like gifts or vacations. For expenses that don’t come up every month, estimate how much you spend over a whole year and divide it by 12.
Part 4: Assets and Part 5: Debts
The form asks for the “valuation date”. This is the date of your separation. If you there were no transactions in your bank account or on your credit card on that date, you may not have a balance on your statement. In that case, use the statement on the last date that there was a transaction.
Updating Your Financial Statement
If you are involved in a court proceeding, you are required to update your Financial Statement before every court appearance if your last statement is more than 30 days old. This can be done by filing a new Financial Statement or an Affidavit with details of the changes.