How to prepare financial documents for Family Court

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Updated May 2021

Judges must make decisions based only on the evidence (what you say in the witness box, documents, photographs, etc.) presented during a trial or hearing, in addition to the Financial Statement (Form 4) already filed, so be sure to file all required documents and bring any additional documents that you want the judge to see with you to court on the day of your hearing or trial.

As a general rule, when you are required to provide any documents not already filed to court, bring the original document plus three copies (four sets in total). When you talk about the document during the trial or hearing you’ll hand two copies to the court clerk (one to be made evidence and marked as an exhibit, and one for the judge to use), keep one copy for yourself, and give one to the other party. Bring one additional copy if there is a lawyer for a child (under Rule 162 of the Provincial Court Family Rules).

If your matter includes issues of child support or spousal support you will need to fill out a financial statement using Form 4. You can obtain it from a Court Registry or online. Form 4 gives the court details about your income and financial circumstances. Please note that the form asks you to provide financial information for each of the three most recent taxation years. Be sure to include full copies of all of the attachments required by the form. Legal Aid BC has created a useful, step-by-step guide to filling out the form.

In some cases you must establish a need for support or what someone is able to pay.

You will also need to provide financial information if you must attend a Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) hearing because you are behind on child or spousal support payments. Legal Aid BC offers a self-help guide to dealing with a committal hearing (where FMEP is asking a judge to jail you or make other court orders because you have not paid support)

You will need to provide a Form 73 Statement of Finances to the court if your maintenance order is enrolled in the FMEP. You can get this from the Court Registry or online. If you are the person required to pay support and FMEP has asked for a Committal Hearing you may be able to get a legal aid lawyer to represent you in the hearing. To learn how to apply for legal aid see the Legal Aid BC website.

Other useful links:

Parenting after separation finances: A handbook for parents

Federal Department of Justice Child Support Estimator

Clicklaw online legal resources for family court

This article provides general information only and should not be used authority in court proceedings or as a substitute for legal advice.