When married parties get divorced or separated there may be obligations for one of them to pay the other child support or spousal support. The amount of support that is payable is directly related to the income of the parties. Because of this, it is important for those involved to provide full financial disclosure to one another (and the courts). A recent decision shows that the courts do not look favourably on those who skirt those obligations.
Father moves to British Columbia
The parents were separated in March 2010. While together they had two children, aged 10 and 9. They have both resided with the mother since the separation. The oldest child is disabled, with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and learning disorders.
The mother told the court she was seeking a number of orders, including ongoing child support based on the father’s 2021 income of $56,439.13, retroactive child support that is in line with his income, a split in Section 7 expenses both ongoing and retroactive, and more.
The mother said that she has been trying to get financial disclosure from the father since 2016. She filed for divorce in 2019, claiming child support and retroactive child support. The father did not respond and was noted in default.
Father is uncooperative with financial disclosure
The mother filed a notice to disclose on December 13, 2019. At the hearing that followed, the father handed the mother a stack of paper containing some financial information, and he was ordered to provide the rest, including copies of his 2018 tax return and notice of assessment. He did not follow that order and told the mother he had liquidated his Calgary business in 2018. He told the mother his 2019 income was $37,500. He was ordered again in February 2020 to provide full disclosure, at which time he told the court he had the documentation. However, when he was set to deliver it the next day, he said there was a disagreement about what was required. The mother responded by pursuing an order of contempt against the father.
Determining income for an uncooperative parent
The mother told the court that it would not be appropriate to use the father’s line 150 income from his notices of assessment in order to determine his income. She said the income from those documents did not match what little disclosure had already been provided to her. The court agreed that the notices assessments were not adequate, and imputed his income at $131,300 in 2019 alone, the year he said he made just under $40,000. The court also set his income for the other years where there was missing financial information.
The court ordered retroactive child support in line with the father’s imputed income from 2017-2019 as well as ongoing support based on the same.
At HMC Lawyers, we believe that family disputes are best handled through proactive and thoughtful advocacy. By helping clients negotiate and resolve their spousal support claims, our Family Law Team provides them with certainty and closure, so they can move on with their lives.
If you have questions about spousal or child support rights or obligations, call HMC Lawyers at 1-800-480-3534 or contact us online. We represent clients primarily in Calgary and surrounding areas.