Getting Started

Instructions for Completing Financial Statements

Before any family law case in Ontario settles or goes before court, there must be complete financial disclosure. This is done through a Form 13.1 if there are property issues in dispute, or a Form 13 if there are no property issues.

The following document provides some instructions on how to fill out a Form 13.1.

Financial Statement with Instructions (PDF)


Overview of Documents Needed in a Family Law File

Family law files involve a lot of preparation, and there’s plenty of information exchanged between the sides.

Having the proper documentation is absolutely essential to resolving the matter, especially if a case appears as if it is going to court. Knowing what documents you require beforehand is helpful, as it can take a lot of time to gather the necessary information.  Original documents may be required in some instances, although copies may be sufficient in others.

If parties are represented, the lawyers will typically keep the originals of many of these documents. They are required to care for these documents properly, and will return them at the conclusion of the file or the termination of the retainer agreement.

One important exception to this is the piece of identification you provide when you initially retain a lawyer, which will be copied and returned to you immediately. Identification requirements are quite routine, and should not be taken as a sign that the lawyer does not trust you or thinks you are pretending to be someone else.

Documents to Provide Your Lawyer (PDF)


Overview of Information Required for Your Family Law Case

One of the best ways that you can save money and keep your legal fees down is to be properly prepared. Family law cases can be complex and require a lot of information.

In addition to obvious information such as details about you and your spouse, your relationship, and your children, your lawyer and the court will need information regarding both parties’ employment and financial situation (ie. income, assets and liabilities), and the matrimonial home.

Bringing several pieces of identification for a meeting with a lawyer, and a chequebook, is usually a good idea. Identification requirements are common across Canada, and should not be considered an insult or a sign that the lawyer mistrusts you. A cheque may be needed to establish a retainer fee to establish the lawyer-client relationship.

Filling out the following document will save you a considerable amount of time at a lawyer’s office, and should help the lawyer prepare for your file.

Information Required For Your Family Law Case (PDF)