HomeFamily LawYet Another Consequence for Lacking Financial Disclosure

Yet Another Consequence for Lacking Financial Disclosure

Tristan Aronson

A cost award from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in 2021 serves as a reminder to some of the consequences that can stem from failures relating to financial disclosure obligations. In Foley v Leavitt, there was an application from the mother for retroactive spousal and child support. Leading up to court hearing between the parties on this issue, the father had failed to fulfill his financial disclosure obligations, while the applicant mother had financially disclosed as required.

Of particular concern was the father’s failure in providing income tax returns and financial statements for his welding company. Justice R.E. Nation awarded solicitor-client costs to the mother for the period between when she completed her financial disclosure obligations, to when the respondent father had finally completed his. In paragraph 5 of Nation J.’s decision, she writes that:

Clearly Ms. Foley provided her tax returns in advance of the litigation. Mr. Foley did not, and court direction was required for him to disclose. Ms. Leavitt is entitled to solicitor client costs for all steps taken, either in correspondence by her solicitor, or in court (for example the family docket order) to force disclosure by Mr. Foley after October 8, 2020, when she had provided her income information until April 21, 2021 when the financial statements of CF Custom Welding Ltd and notice of reassessment were finally provided to complete the Notice to Disclose requirements.

While typically the usual outcome is that the successful party will receive costs as per Rule 10.29 (1) of the Alberta Rules of Court, in this case both the mother and father were successful in some way at the court hearing, so costs were not to be awarded to either party. However, as above explored, due to the respondent father’s failure to financially disclose, solicitor-client costs were awarded against him despite having been successful at court. This shows that even if successful in court, one who refuses to financially disclose as required may still be found to pay the other party’s legal costs associated to dealing with that failed disclosure.

2022-03-28T19:06:42+00:00April 5, 2022|Family Law|
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