Why failure to disclose financial information is 'the cancer' of family law

Asia's Tech News Daily

Why failure to disclose financial information is 'the cancer' of family law
© Provided by Financial Post Osgoode Hall in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2019. The building is home to Ontario’s Court of Appeal.

For separated spouses, the exchange of full and frank financial information is a fundamental underpinning to the resolution of financial issues arising from separation. In Ontario, and other provinces across the country, failure to disclose significant assets or liabilities can be grounds to set aside an agreement, rendering it unenforceable.

For many years, financial disclosure has been front and centre in family law courtrooms. Echoing comments of family court judges across Canada, Justice Russell Brown of the Supreme Court of Canada recently confirmed the “failure to disclose material information is the cancer of family law litigation.” Similarly, writing for the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Justice C. William Hourigan noted “nondisclosure metastasizes and impacts all participants in the family law process.”

Very recently, the issue of nondisclosure was once again before the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In that case, the wife alleged the husband failed to disclose significant assets he owned at the time of their separation which, if disclosed, would have resulted in a substantially different settlement of the parties’ financial affairs. Specifically, the wife told the court the husband’s sworn financial statement provided at the time of their separation showed the value of his assets was $0. More than ten years later, the wife learned the husband had represented to banks that his net worth was approximately $21 million at the time of the parties’ separation. In 2019, on learning of this discrepancy, the wife commenced proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice wherein she sought payment on account of the undisclosed assets that should have been shared by the parties, had she known about them.

The background facts are fairly straightforward. The parties married in 1980 and separated in 2006. Two years later, the parties resolved the financial issues arising from their separation. According to the husband, the couple’s settlement included an agreement between them not to pursue equalization of net family property and spousal support. In that context, nothing was paid by either party to the other on account of the sharing of assets accumulated during their 26-year marriage.

The husband resisted the wife’s claims in the court proceedings on two grounds: 1) the limitation period under Ontario’s Family Law Act which applies to the equalization of net family property had expired long ago, and 2) the parties agreed there would be no sharing of property between them. Early in the proceedings, in a motion known as summary judgment, the husband asked the court to dismiss the wife’s claims against him on the basis the claims lacked merit and there was no genuine issue requiring a trial. Justice Jonathon George of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice agreed with the husband and dismissed the wife’s claims. The wife successfully appealed.

  • This couple is so meticulous in their planning, they’re even thinking about their cats’ future
  • ‘Til debt do us part? How to avoid fighting about money when combining finances
  • B.C. couple considers commuting their pensions, but managing money comes with big risks

Part of the wife’s appeal was grounded in whether the husband had standing to bring his motion to dismiss the wife’s claims. Under the rules governing Ontario family court proceedings, a party can bring a motion for summary judgment only after a financial statement has been filed with the court. The husband had not done so. Writing for the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Justice Alison Harvison-Young noted that the “requirement for both parties to provide financial statements at the outset is closely related to the importance of disclosure in family law proceedings, a particularly salient principle in the present case.”

For the wife, the outright dismissal of her claims today in the absence of the husband’s financial disclosure was likely unjust for the same reasons the husband’s alleged incomplete disclosure at their separation was unjust. According to the wife, she did not, and could not, know the husband’s financial circumstances without disclosure that can be properly tested. Without the disclosure, the wife was at a “significant disadvantage.”

The husband argued the wife was a savvy business person who, through her own means, knew or ought to have known about the husband’s financial affairs at the time of the parties’ separation. Justice Harvison Young makes short work of this argument, noting that it “is up to the party with the assets to make the disclosure and the valuation of assets.” She continues: “Financial disclosure is a paramount consideration. That also applies to a summary judgment motion such as this one. Moreover, it is not up to the claimant to ‘ferret out’ information, as the (wife) put it, about income and assets from the other party.”

The husband’s argument that the limitation period had expired long ago was met with similar resistance from the Court of Appeal. In determining if a claim under Ontario’s Family Law Act can be advanced after the limitation period has expired, a court must inquire into whether the delay had been incurred in good faith. Noting that it would be unfair to infer that the wife understood the husband’s financial circumstances at the time of separation, Justice Harvison-Young finds that the determination of whether the delay was incurred in good faith could not be determined on a motion for summary judgment.

At this juncture of the family court proceedings, the issue of nondisclosure is grounded in the wife’s untested allegations. The merit of those allegations will be determined as the litigation unfolds. Through its decision, the Court of Appeal has given the wife the forum within which to obtain and test the husband’s financial disclosure. In doing so, the Court has, once again, underscored the fundamental importance of financial disclosure, each party’s right to receive it and, most importantly, each party’s obligation to provide it.

Adam N. Black is a partner in the family law group at Torkin Manes LLP in Toronto.


Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


U.S. Congress includes $300 million for Ukraine, addresses China in massive defense bill

© Reuters/GLEB GARANICH Ukraine holds military drills called “RAPID TRIDENT-2021” with U.S. forces, NATO allies By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers included a range of efforts to push ... Read more »

Nobel winner hits out at UK, France over Channel migrants

© ADRIAN DENNIS The Zanzibar-born British novelist, whose work has focused on the plight of migrants, received his Nobel prize for literature in London on Monday British novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, ... Read more »

Holly Madison: Life in Playboy mansion was ‘gross,' drugs were ‘used for sex'

An ex-Playmate is calling out foul play at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion.  “I felt like I was in the cycle of gross things and I didn’t know what to do,” ... Read more »

International air travel recovery faces Omicron turbulence

Many airports – like this one in Lisbon, Portugal – are seeing fewer travelers. Corbis via Getty Images New travel restrictions prompted by the Omicron coronavirus variant have dealt a ... Read more »

Ex-UBS Trader Hayes Loses Bid to Appeal Libor-Rigging Case

(Bloomberg) — Tom Hayes, the former UBS Group AG and Citigroup Inc. trader who became the face of the sprawling Libor scandal, has lost his bid to appeal his U.K. ... Read more »

Snoochie Shy on I'm a Celebrity: What is her real name and what does she do?

Snoochie Shy is one of the 10 stars to be joining this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The 29-year-old – who is a BBC ... Read more »

UK blasted for Afghanistan evacuation response

© Justin TALLIS Britain managed to get 15,000 people out of Kabul but the government has faced claims it could have done more to help The British government was on ... Read more »

UK new travel rules and updated list of red list countries

The UK Government has announced new Covid travel rules and updated its travel red list in an attempt to slow the importation of the Omicron coronavirus variant. From Tuesday, December ... Read more »

Goodbye to Verdansk, Call of Duty: Warzone's world away from lockdown

© Provided by GamesRadar Call of Duty Warzone There’s an argument to be made that Call of Duty reached peak cultural crossover not when Makarov first stepped out of the ... Read more »

Farmers' stir nearing end? SKM to take final call on ending year-long agitation today

Three hundred and sixty-five days and counting – that’s how long farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western UP have been camping at Delhi’s borders. However, it now seems that the ... Read more »

‘Wicked' Names Brittney Johnson Broadway's First Black Glinda

Brittney Johnson Brittney Johnson and Broadway’s Wicked are making history yet again. The 31-year-old actress has spelled her way into the role of Glinda the Good in the fifth longest-running ... Read more »

Golfer Thorbjørn Olesen tells court he ‘felt horrible' after groping accusation

Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Witnesses describe Ryder Cup winner’s behaviour on British Airways flight as ‘completely bizarre’ A Ryder Cup-winning golfer has said he was “embarrassed and felt horrible” after being ... Read more »

Thornton convicted of murder in 2015 slaying of Anthony Hale Jr.

After about four and a half hours of deliberation, the only person to stand trial for the murder of Anthony Hale Jr. in 2015 was found guilty on Tuesday. Jurors ... Read more »

Billionaire surrenders $70 million in stolen artifacts to 11 countries, officials say

A billionaire with an “appetite for plundered items” surrendered stolen artifacts worth $70 million to 11 countries, officials in New York said. Michael Steinhardt, known as “one of the world’s ... Read more »

Where to buy KitchenAid Stand Mixers on sale right now

iStock/Ruby McAuliffe Attention everyone, it’s true. The cult-classic KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer is currently on sale across major retailers. If you aren’t familiar with the famous kitchen appliance, it falls ... Read more »

COVID-19: Man in Germany suspected of killing his family and himself over fake vaccine certificate fears

Investigators in Germany said the bodies of two 40-year-olds and their children, aged 10, eight and four, were found with gunshot wounds outside their home in Koenigs Wusterhausen, just outside Berlin. Read more »

The Remote: And Just Like That, an Olivia Colman murder mystery and Simon Cowell's new talent show

THE REMOTE IS our weekly look at upcoming TV highlights. From drama and comedy, to factual and reality TV, we’ll bring you some of the shows to watch out for ... Read more »

Biden and Putin hold virtual summit as Ukraine crisis looms large

© Provided by dw.com Russian state TV called the tone of the call ‘friendly’ Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Joe Biden held a virtual summit Tuesday, with Moscow’s ... Read more »

EastEnders works with Macmillan Cancer Support on male breast cancer storyline

EastEnders has revealed it worked alongside charity Macmillan Cancer Support on a storyline involving male <a href="/tag/breast-cancer“>breast cancer. On Monday’s episode, Stuart Highway, played by Ricky Champ, was diagnosed with ... Read more »

Nick Cannon's youngest son dies from brain tumour at five months old

© Getty Nick Cannon – Getty Nick Cannon has confirmed that his youngest son, Zen, has died. The actor, 41, made the announcement on today’s (7 December) episode of the ... Read more »

Chile congress approves same-sex marriage bill

Chile’s congress on Tuesday approved a long-awaited bill to legalize same-sex marriage, joining just a handful of countries in majority Catholic Latin America with similar laws. © Dedvi MISSENE Celebrations ... Read more »

Storm Barra: How transport has been impacted today across the country

© Sam Boal File image of a car passing through a flooded area after heavy rainfall in Dublin. STORM BARRA ARRIVED on Irish shores today, with heavy rain and strong ... Read more »

Putin's Ukraine rhetoric driven by distorted view of neighbour

Even as Vladimir Putin has built up an invasion force on his borders, he has repeated a refrain that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, bemoaning a “fraternal” conflict that ... Read more »

Iraq puts looted Gilgamesh Dream Tablet on display

© Reuters Iraq’s foreign minister said the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was one of 17,926 artefacts recovered in the past year The 3,500-year-old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet has gone on display in ... Read more »

Nick Cannon's 5-month-old son dies of brain cancer

Nick Cannon’s youngest son, Zen, has died from a form of brain cancer, the entertainer tearfully announced Tuesday on The Nick Cannon Show.  © Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images 464963340.jpg Cannon said ... Read more »

«Ich will diese Ausreden nicht»: Diaw will eine Strafe und keine Aussprache

Nachdem Lausanne-Goalie Mory Diaw auf Social Media rassistisch beleidigt wurde, fordert er Konsequenzen. Sein Klub stärkt ihm dabei den Rücken. © Getty Images Diaw will eine Strafe und keine Aussprache ... Read more »

Book Review: Manish Tewari's '10 Flashpoints 20 Years' analyses India's counter-terrorism tactics

© Provided by DNA Congress leader and MP Manish Tewari has recently published his book titled book “10 Flashpoints 20 Years”.  This book has created an uproar in the political ... Read more »

Why Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles' Christmas decorations look so different this year

© Provided by Hello! duchess-camilla-cornwall-christmas-tree The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles‘ beautiful Christmas decorations have been unveiled in new photographs taken inside their main residence, Clarence House. MORE: 11 ... Read more »

"Will want to learn off Gerrard" - Journalist quashes surprise Aston Villa exit rumour for ace

© GiveMeSport Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard Journalist Luke Hatfield thinks Douglas Luiz will want to remain at Aston Villa and learn from Steven Gerrard despite talk about the player ... Read more »

Ashes 2021-22 Spotters' Guide – What to look out for as the series gets under way at the Gabba, Brisbane

Hope springs eternal on the first day of an Ashes series but there are so many themes and cliches from past clashes that we can confidently predict the following 18 events are ... Read more »

The real disarray: Republicans imploding over Trump loyalty tests and outrageous behavior

While Democrats haggle over policy, Republicans in thrall to Trump are acting out a meaner, more dangerous version of World Wrestling Entertainment. Read more »

Hearthstone's new Fractured in Alterac Valley expansion is now live

© Provided by Dot Esports Champions of Azeroth, the wait is finally over. A host of new cards have arrived today with Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Fractured in Alterac Valley, and ... Read more »

How to Unlock the Cooper Carbine in Warzone Pacific

Season 1 of Call of Duty: Vanguard will bring a few new weapons to players’ arsenals, including the new Cooper Carbine Assault Rifle. Season 1 is set to go live ... Read more »

Omicron: 4 more international travellers admitted to LNJP hospital in Delhi

Four more international travellers were on Tuesday admitted to the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital’s special facility for isolating and treating those infected with the new Omicron ... Read more »

Red Dead Online Christmas events – start and end date, rewards, discounts, and more

© Provided by GamePur Rockstar has announced a bunch of events taking place in Red Dead Online over the next four weeks to celebrate the festive period. Players can expect ... Read more »

Some schools to stay closed on Wednesday as Storma Barra blasts Ireland

Schools in the areas worst affected by Storm Barra will remain closed in Ireland on Wednesday, as strong winds continue to cause damage across the country. With warnings remaining in ... Read more »

Pokémon Go Tour: Johto tickets are on sale now, coming in February 2022

© Provided by GamePur The Pokémon Go Tour event series returns, and this time it’s all about the Johto region Pokémon. You’ll be able to participate in this event at ... Read more »

How to travel to Eternity and speak with Xur in Destiny 2

© Provided by GamePur The 30th Anniversary event is underway in Destiny 2, and the first thing that will happen is players will get thrown into the new activity for ... Read more »

Galeno FIFA 22: How to Complete the UEFA TOTGS SBC

Galeno FIFA 22 Europa League Team of the Group Stage SBC went live Dec. 7 celebrating the Brazilian’s performance for SC Braga. This is Galeno’s second special item so far ... Read more »

Maple Leafs' Marner and Sandin on IR, Steeves and Rubins to make NHL Debut

© Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated The Maple Leafs expect to be without Mitch Marner for three-to-four weeks while Rasmus Sandin may be out two-to-three weeks. The Toronto ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic