Divorce is a tough time for any couple/family and it is hard to be mentally prepared for the challenges. However, one thing we can help you with is how to get organized and prepared as you embark in the divorce process. We understand how overwhelming the divorce process can be, so we prepared a list of documents you will want to start to gather as soon as possible:
1. Copy of both parties’ birth certificates
2. Copy of children’s’ birth certificates
3. If applicable, the marriage contract signed by the parties
4. Original Marriage Certificate
5. A list of your assets and documentation to support these assets (ex: a deed of sale for the family home, a contract for your car)
6. A List of your liabilities (ex: Mortgage statement at date of separation and when debt was consolidated)
7. RRSP Statements (value at the date the account was opened and at the value at the date of separation)
8. Both parties’ provincial and federal income tax returns and notices of assessment for the last 3 years
9. Any legal documents already in the court record: applications, responses etc.
10. For child support and special expenses, you will want to have school tuition receipts, bills/invoices from any extracurricular activities, sports, dance etc.
11. Q.P.P. (Quebec pension plan statement) (statement of participation – date of marriage and at the date of separation)
12. C.P.P. (Canadian Pension Plan statement, if you or your spouse ever worked for a Canadian company)
13. Checking account statement at the date of separation (both of yours)
14. Savings account statement at the date of separation (both of yours)
15. All joint accounts (statement at date of opening and date of separation)
16. TFSA or other investments (both of yours, if any)
17. Deeds of properties other than family residence listed above
18. Mortgage deeds
19. RESP statement for children if any
20. Year, make and model of your car
21. If applicable, any proof of the transfers of any gifts made to you
It is important to note that you should not panic if you are unable to find all of these documents or if your ex-partner is the one who has access to them. During the court process both parties have the obligation to be fully transparent and forthcoming with financial disclosure. However, if your spouse does not collaborate to provide the necessary documents, the court can order that he/she provide them and we can send the party subpoenas with a detailed list of documents that are needed and outstanding. If your spouse does not comply with the subpoena, we can also send them to all the financial institutions where he/she does their banking. The third party is bound to communicate the documents prior to the court date and or attend court to provide them. A subpoena is a court order. Therefore, if the documents requested are not provided there are consequences to a breach of a court order. The necessity to have to take these additional measures to obtain what should have been provided, can lead to a request a provision for cost. A provision for cost is a sum ordered by the court to cover a portion of your legal fees.
We believe that as stressful as a divorce can be, being organized is one way to ensure that your divorce is proceeding as efficiently and hassle-free as possible. As lawyers, we need to have access to all the information in order to do our job properly and to zealously represent our clients.
For any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to our best divorce lawyers in Monreal!