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  • Writer's pictureTrish Guise

Recent Cases on CanLII - (1) Financial Disclosure (2) Spousal Support

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When navigating a separation or divorce becoming familiar with recent cases pertinent to your circumstances is paramount. This is particularly true if you are experiencing domestic abuse, coercive control or post-separation abuse.

Recent cases offer critical insights into evolving legal precedents, judicial interpretations, and strategies used in similar contexts. Understanding recent cases can enable you to anticipate potential challenges, identify available legal remedies, and advocate for your rights more confidently.

Staying abreast of recent cases, may assist you in asserting your interests and in seeking the support and protection you deserve in your family law matters.



Should a penalty be imposed for failing to

provide full & timely financial disclosure?


In Canadian family law, financial disclosure is a basic, immediate and continual obligation and the courts feel that an individual should not have to file a court application requiring a party to do something that was contained in a previous order (consent or court).

para 20. “…duty to disclose is the most basic obligation in family law, and that the obligation is immediate and ongoing.” 

para 21. “There are several rules set out in the FLRs solely devoted to the obligation to give disclosure on a timely basis, setting out in detail the disclosure to be provided, along with the obligation to update the disclosure on a regular basis.”

para 24. A litigant should not have to bring a motion to get an order requiring a party to do something that has already been ordered (such as a motion for enforcement of a disclosure order). If there has been a breach, the appropriate step is to seek a remedy under r. 1(8): see Varcoe v. Varcoe, 2014 ONSC 328.”


Husband ’s requests (applicant)

  1. Wife should be required to pay a penalty of $250/day until she provides full financial disclosure.

  2. Wife should be prevented from seeking any future court relief until the outstanding disclosure has been provided.

Wife's requests (respondent)

  1. Dismiss Husband's application.


Physical & Verbal Abuse: Husband towards Wife

  • Husband was criminally charged and spent time in jail. Parties reconciled and husband was given an absolute discharge and signed a peace bond.

  • Husband physically assaulted Wife again in front of child which prompted separation.

Immigration status abuse:

  • Husband threated to have Wife deported.


Financial Abuse

  • During marriage: Husband stopped paying Wife’s credit card to damage Wife’s credit.

  • After separation: Husband didn’t pay child or spousal support for 17-18 months.


Parenting time

  • Wife was primary caregiver and had most of the parenting time until an equal parenting time schedule was agreed upon (week on / week off).

  • Wife alleges Husband began alienating the children against Wife and children now reside full time with Dad.


  1. Wife failed to provide financial disclosure as per a previous consent order which outlined the disclosure obligations of both parties.   

  2. Consequences are warranted due to failure to provide financial disclosure.

  3. Failure isn’t egregious and doesn’t appear to be willful court order non-compliance.

  4. Wife’s disclosure was disorganized which increased Husband’s legal costs.

  5. However, Wife did not have access to many of the accounts because Husband has always controlled the finances.

  6. To remedy this, Wife provided Husband with an Authorizations and Directions form to obtain the bank statements directly.


  1. Court does not have jurisdiction to order Wife to pay penalty of $250/day until the disclosure is provided.

  2. Court orders Wife to produce disclosure within 30 days.



(Appeal of) Equalization Payment Ordered Despite

Financial Disclosure Not Provided



  1. Mom (appellant) appeals order stating she is to pay equalization payment of ½ the net proceeds of the sale of the matrimonial home to Dad.

  2. Mom felt the trial judge erred in ordering the equalization payment given that Dad failed to provide financial disclosure during the proceeds and never requested equalization.

  3. Home was in Mom’s name only.


ONCA (Ontario Court of Appeal) agreed that the trial judge erred in their finding that Dad was entitled to an equalization payment. ONCA agreed there was no basis for the trial judge to order an equalization payment because Dad failed to provide financial disclosure. 


  1. Appeal was allowed.

  2. There is to be no equalization payment owing to either party. 

  3. The remaining net proceeds of the matrimonial house sale shall be released immediately to Mom.

  4. Mom is entitled to costs of the appeal of $5000.



Spousal Support in absence of full disclosure



Appellant Dad appealing chambers judge order to pay Mom interim monthly spousal support of $3200, because he failed to provide court-ordered financial disclosure.


  1. Based on the information available to the chambers judge, the order of monthly $3200 spousal support payments for compensatory and non-compensatory support was justified.

  2. Given that Dad didn’t provide the court-ordered disclosure, he had no right to complain about the amount.

  3. It isn’t uncommon for chambers judges to make such rulings based on incomplete information, until the matter goes to trial.


Appeal dismissed.


Please note: the above is not meant to be legal advice and is only intended for informational purposes. If you require legal advice for your particular case, please consult a lawyer.


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