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Documents Needed (excludes complex cases) – Support and Equalization

The following items are typical financial details that you will typically need to provide to assist you.  This list is based on simple cases for people who are employees, and do not have a lot of assets.  For a more detailed list of information, see my articles, “Property Values Explained – How and What You Need” and “Financial Information for Calculating Child and Spousal Support“.  Of course, any Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS) or a financial advisor experienced in separation and divorce matters can assist you.  This assistance can be by way of explaining the needs to you and how to get the values to complete the forms, or it may be by helping you find the information and completing the forms on your behalf.

  1. Personal tax returns for past three years. Please provide all supporting schedules.
  2. Notices of assessment for past three years. This is the report received from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after you file your tax return. If you do not have it, you can telephone CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to obtain a copy, contact your tax preparer who may be able to obtain it electronically, or provide me with your authorization to do so (CRA Form T1013).
  3. Your most recent payroll stub showing your current rate of pay and your year to date earnings. If you do not have or do not receive a pay stub, ask your employer for a letter or printout showing these details.
  4. If you receive employment insurance, social assistance, pensions, Workers’ Compensation, disability pensions or other such income (taxable or not), provide details and a recent statement or letter showing total income received year to date. These amounts should be before income taxes are deducted.
  5. Complete a list of property owned – divide the values based on legal ownership, and indicate who plans to take what separately. Value is what you can sell the property for, not what you paid for it, not what it would cost to replace, and not the property tax assessment. You do not need to list all of your household furnishings and personal effects, but list special items of value, such as antiques and heirlooms separately. Provide enough detail to allow discussion of which items will be divided between parties. A list of debts and liabilities is also required, such as mortgages, lines of credit, credit cards, etc.  Where can you get help with valuations? See my topic titled Finding Asset Values on my Useful Links page here.
  6. Provide a copy of your last annual pension statement from your employer pension plan, if applicable. A pension plan has a lump sum value, and a valuation will be recommended.
  7. It may not be necessary, but I suggest you complete a personal budget.  Anticipate changes that will occur because of your separation, and estimate to the best of your ability. A review of your past bank statements, credit cards, household bills, etc. can assist you in estimates. This is important so that you understand whether you need to adjust your lifestyle expenses to match the income you will have.  If you need help, a credit counsellor or family service bureau, (in PEI, consider Family Service PEI) may be less costly than a financial planner (e.g. me) or an accountant.

Blair Corkum, CPA, CA, R.F.P., CFP, CFDS, CLU, CHS holds his Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Registered Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist as well as several other financial planning related designations. Blair offers hourly based fee-only personal financial planning, holds no investment or insurance licenses, and receives no commissions or referral fees. This publication should not be construed as legal or investment advice. It is neither a definitive analysis of the law nor a substitute for professional advice which you should obtain before acting on information in this article. Information may change as a result of legislation or regulations issued after this article was written.©Blair Corkum