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  • Writer's pictureM Finkelstein

Navigating the F8 Financial Statement: A Guide for Supreme Court Litigants in BC

In British Columbia, family law matters are governed by the Family Law Act, which includes provisions for the division of property and debts upon separation. Understanding what constitutes "family property," "excluded property," and "family debt" is important when completing the F8 financial statement. Let's delve into these concepts and how they impact your financial disclosure in family law proceedings.

 

Family Property vs. Excluded Property

 

Under the Family Law Act in BC, section 84, Family Property generally includes all real and personal assets acquired during the relationship, regardless of who acquired them or whose name is on the title. This encompasses real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, pensions, insurance, collectibles, jewellery, assets in which there are “beneficial interests”, shares in companies, and other valuable items.

 

Excluded property, on the other hand, refers to assets that are not subject to division upon separation or divorce. This includes gifts or inheritances received by one spouse, property acquired before the relationship began, and personal injury settlements that do not compensate for income loss.  However, excluded property does not include the increase in value of the excluded property or any interest or returns earned thereon. 

 

Family Debt

 

Per section 86, Family Debt encompasses all debts incurred during the relationship, such as mortgages, credit card debt, loans, and other financial obligations. When determining the value of Family Debt for the F8 financial statement, it's important to include both the principal amount owed and any accrued interest. 

 

A spouse is not liable for debts incurred after the date of separation unless incurred for the sole purpose of maintaining Family Property.

 

Valuing family debt can be complex, especially when considering factors like interest rates, payment terms, and outstanding balances.  Family Property must be based on its fair market value, and is determined as of the date of agreement or the date of the hearing before the court that divides the Family Property and Family Debt.

 

Be sure to distinguish between debts held jointly and those held individually.

 

Take into account any contingent liabilities, such as co-signing for a loan or guaranteeing debt repayment. These may need to be disclosed as potential obligations on the F8 financial statement.

 

Failure to Disclose

 

The courts look very unfavourably at any failure to disclose, incomplete disclosure, disclosure delays, or disclosure improprieties.  It is highly unadvisable to fib, hide, contort, or otherwise fail to be fully forthcoming with disclosure as the penalties can be severe.

 

Completing your F8 Financial Statement

 

Gather together your last 3 years of T1 income tax returns, Notices of Assessment, current financial statements, pay stubs, mortgage statements, pension statements, insurance statements, investment accounts, and anything else you need to include.

 

Provide your income details.  Include all sources of income.

 

Indicate your expenses.  This doesn’t need to be overly detailed or perfectly precise; an indication of where your money typically goes will suffice.  Ensure your entries are defensible if ever questioned.

 

List your assets and liabilities.  Each should indicate the value at the date of separation and the value today.  Enumerate each entry with the last 4 digits of the account number, the account name/type, and include the name of the holding institution.  Indicate the holders of the account, if just you, joint, or in another entity’s name.  This includes interests like supplemental credit cards.  If you are listing property, include the full address and the roll number from BC Assessment.  Include assets and liabilities in other jurisdictions, and include items even if they are excluded property. 

 

If you're unsure about any aspect of the F8 or financial disclosure process, consulting with a family law attorney can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific situation.  Email FLC with any questions.

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