When a married or common-law couple separates, determining the amount of child support and spousal support tends to be a complicated matter, especially if complex assets have to be considered. If you and your spouse are separating in Alberta, then you should know that you are entitled to full disclosure of your spouse's finances, just as your spouse is entitled to full financial disclosure from you.
This requirement is included in both the Alberta Child Support Guidelines and the Alberta Rules of Court. Here let's discuss some important documents that are generally used to determine how much spousal support and child support should be paid.
In relatively simple cases, tax documents and statements of earnings can provide a fairly clear picture of each spouse's financial situation. Typically, income tax returns, notices of assessment and statements of earnings from the last three years are required.
More complex disclosures may include documentation of the following kinds of income:
- Workers' compensation
- Disability payments
- Employment insurance
- Student funding
- Social assistance
Aside from income, parents seeking child support should provide a list of any and all extraordinary or special expenses. We discussed basic and special expenses in one of our previous posts.
Full disclosure should also include bank account and credit card statements from the last six months, as well as a monthly expense budget and an itemized list of all liabilities, assets and income.
For a full list of the types of income to be disclosed, including income from self-employment, interest from shares in a corporation and payments from a trust, please see our previously published article, "Financial Disclosure Obligations During Separation."