Don’t Disclose at Your Peril
In the recent decision of Janiten v Moran, the Alberta Court of Appeal has made it clear that there are serious consequences for failing to make prompt and complete financial disclosure in family law matters. In Moran, the Mother had two orders for retroactive and ongoing child support where the Father’s income had been imputed because he had failed to provide disclosure and he failed to appear in court on two occasions. Once the Maintenance Enforcement Program became involved to collect the child support, the Father brought his own application to vary the two orders based on the imputed income being incorrect. The Father was successful and the chambers judge vacated both orders and reduced arrears by a significant amount. The Mother appealed to the Alberta Court of Appeal and was successful.
The Court of Appeal found that the Father had failed to provide disclosure as was required of him by court order and failed to show up for court on two occasions. The Court of Appeal held that there was no change in circumstances that allowed for the Father to bring his application, rather he was trying to fix a result after his own non-compliance with court orders. The Court of Appeal said: A party who ignores a court order requiring disclosure and/or who fails to attend court when required, absent a reasonable explanation, does so at his or her peril. In this case, the father’s very tardy disclosure compliance should not ground a successful application to vary or vacate the previous orders.
This case is another reminder that a failure to disclose can have long term negative consequences.