Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Family law cases can be complex.
Many provinces have legislation requiring a separating couple to value their assets and debts at the date of marriage and the date of separation or trial and “equalize” the difference. All provinces have laws in place which set out the way in which a spouse’s income must be calculated when determining child and spousal support.
While determining the value of some assets, such as publicly traded shares or cash investments, is relatively straightforward, many assets or debts are not nearly so easy to value.
Sophisticated legal assistance and expert valuation advice may be required. Chartered business valuators, accountants and actuaries are frequently called upon to assist the lawyer, the client and the court on issues which can range from valuing shares held by a spouse in a private company, to whether the value of a debt owed to a party should be discounted because it may not be collectable. If a spouse is not a T-4’d employee, determining income for support purposes can be similarly difficult.
But what happens when the parties are not in an equal financial position? As contingency fees are not available in family law, how can a spouse with few assets or little income retain the professionals required to allow the moneyed spouse’s experts to be “tested,” or even hire counsel to argue the matter in court?
Read more here.