Family Law / Divorce Library

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Family Court:
Exchanging Financial Documentation

Exchanging Financial Documentation

Exchanging financial disclosure is a critical step to resolve support and property claims. How else would you calculate Child Support, Spousal Support, Partner Support, or Property Division without accurate information? If your former partner won't provide the financial documentation voluntarily, then courts may order that they do so. What you file and when will depend on which court you need to file in. See Family Court Basics to learn about the different courts in Alberta.

Court processes to obtain financial disclosure allow you to obtain Income Tax Returns, Notices of Assessment, pay stubs, statements of other sources of income such has EI, a list of Section 7 expenses claimed, monthly budgets, and documents relating to businesses such as their Financial Statements. Especially if you need to address Property Division, you may also want to obtain bank account statements, credit card statements, investment statements, lists of income, assets, and debts sworn with a Commissioner for Oaths, and other documents. In practice, we usually check off all boxes in the forms, and then they can tell us what they think doesn't apply.

In the Court of King's Bench, there are two ways to obtain a court order that your former spouse provide standard financial disclosure:

  1. You can file a Notice to Disclose Desk Application (see; or
  2. Most people simply apply to Family Docket Court and request that standard financial disclosure as set out in the above Notice to Disclose Application be ordered. That way you have some certainty that it will be ordered on a certain date, because with the above process we're never sure when the Court will process the desk application. See more about Family Docket Court at Family Court Basics

In the Provincial Court of Alberta, financial disclosure is obtained by filing a Request for Financial Information at the Court Clerks' desk at the Courthouse, and then serving the filed Request on your former partner:

Sometimes you need more than the standard financial documents. For example, maybe you need documents from an older date, to see if there was a change around the time of separation. If the document or information you need isn't listed in the Notice to Disclose Application or Request for Financial Information, and your former partner won't provide it voluntarily, then there are a two ways to obtain that documentation:

  1. You can attend Questioning to ask your former partner questions, and to have them undertake to provide documents. This process is usually only available in the Court of King's Bench, however in special circumstances the Provincial Court might permit Questioning; or
  2. You can file an Application (King's Bench) or "Claim - Family Law Act" (Provincial Court) seeking the document(s). In the Court of King's Bench, you might be directed to try Questioning first, especially if you're asking for a lot of information.

Bear in mind that the document/information must be relevant to one of the issues in dispute, and there are sometimes exceptions prohibiting some documents from being exchanged (for example, communication between your former partner and their lawyer).

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Exchanging Financial Documentation


Content by Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Edmonton)

Last updated on January 21, 2023

Last complete review of all content on this page on January 21, 2023

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