Are you concerned about family law disclosure? In Ontario family law courts, it has become expected by judges that both parties to an action will provide any and all relevant financial and property disclosure to each other before bringing a motion or proceeding to a settlement conference. Yet a lot of people still want to try and hide their assets and avoid splitting their finances with their ex-spouse. There are two very big problems with attempting to hide your assets and avoiding providing full disclosure in Ontario Family Court that you should be aware of before you try to hide information.
*You can call our family law firm toll free at 1-844-466-6529. Locations in Cowichan Valley, Ottawa and Toronto
Repercussions From Hiding Assets In Family Court
The second question that most family law judges will ask when parties enter the courtroom for the initial court appearance is whether or not disclosure has been provided by both parties. If the answer is anything but “yes” from either party, 9 out of 10 times the judge is likely to start berating whichever party has not provided their disclosure documents and it won’t be a fun experience. Judges can order that specific documents or general disclosure issues be dealt with under specific guidelines and timelines including orders that will allow for the opposing spouse to contact the uncooperative party’s bank or investment institution personally to obtain records themselves.
In some extreme cases where parties are actively trying to hide disclosure documents or refuse to provide them, judges can order that these parties are in breach of previous orders and there could be penalties including fines, jail time or payment of the other parties’ legal fees.
Having Your Hidden Records Exposed
You can expect to pay a large amount of legal fees on additional court time spent on defending yourself. You will need to fight to prevent having your hidden records or information tracked down and exposed.
If your former spouse is ready to fight to obtain all of your financial and property information and they can show that you are either knowingly barring them from obtaining such information or unwilling to provide it, they are likely to receive court orders that force you to pay their legal fees relating to court dates and time spent on trying to access said documents. To put it bluntly, each time you go to court on the issue of not providing disclosure, you could be paying your lawyer between $3,000 and $5,000 and then also be ordered to pay that same amount for your ex-spouses legal fees.
That is for EACH individual court attendance. Furthermore your lawyer is bound by the professional code of conduct to assist in the timely completion of your family law matter. If you are unwilling to provide disclosure your lawyer may seek leave to no longer represent you on your file and you will have to fend for yourself. This may result in you using multiple lawyers to deal with your file, which will add up financially as each lawyer will have to review and provide their own opinion on what you need to do on your file.
Family Law Disclosure
If you have questions about family law disclosure, call us toll free at 844-466-6529. If you are dealing with an ex-spouse who is attempting to prolong court proceedings by not providing financial and property disclosure, you should contact a ClearWay Law lawyer right away so they can assist you in resolving the matter.
Like us on Facebook for more family law tips!