Divorce is complex. Dividing a couple’s assets is no easy feat. Rarely can a couple simply split their accumulated net worth right down the middle, each walking away with a check. In addition, divorce comes with a slew of other questions. Will one spouse have to pay spousal support to the other? Where will the children live and how much visitation will the other parent get? How much child support should the noncustodial spouse pay?
Divorce is, in fact, one of the most complex legal matters most Canadians will ever be involved in. Your divorce has the potential to impact your life for the foreseeable future, touching on your finances, your options, and your relationships with your children.
Protect yourself by getting the expert help you deserve. The lawyers at Merchant Law have decades of experience resolving some of the most complex family law cases to come through Saskatchewan courts. We can help you, too.
Help With High Net Worth Divorces
High net worth couples have complex asset profiles that require special care and attention. The average couple may own multiple pieces of real estate, one or more businesses, and investment accounts that must be handled carefully. These assets are not always easy to liquidate and may even lose value if the divorce settlement doesn’t handle them properly.
Many of our lawyers also have a background in business, real estate, and civil litigation. This gives us a broad understanding of the full suite of available solutions that can be brought to bear when creating an equitable settlement. Bring us your goals and highest items of concern, and we’ll find solutions.
We’re also adept at working with tax professionals, financial advisors, accountants, valuation experts, and others who can ensure that the eventual division of property doesn’t leave you with unwanted tax consequences, a devalued investment account or a business which can no longer effectively function.
Finally, we are keen negotiators. High net worth couples usually come out ahead when they can negotiate a settlement and stay out of court. We help our clients offer win-win solutions that spares them the costly litigation process and ensures they maintain control over their futures.
Help for Divorcing Farmers in Estevan
Many people in the Estevan area make their living as farmers. The team at Merchant Law has helped many of these people navigate the complicated issues that arise when farmers seek to get a divorce.
Farmers face all of the same problems as many high net worth couples. In addition, many of their assets are vital and necessary to keep the farm running. Almost all the assets are tied into a single asset: the farm. The home, the farm equipment, the crops, the land—it’s all tied into the business the couple has been running.
Fortunately creative legal solutions exist, solutions that can lead to a settlement. Settlement is ideal for farmers as it allows them to maintain control and craft solutions that will work for their farm, rather than leaving the division of property up to a judge who might not be well-versed in farming issues. Thus, we craft win-wins solutions that allow the farm to continue running, and which allow for the farm’s long-term survival.
Child Support, Custody, and Visitation in Saskatchewan
Settlement agreements must meet the “best interests of the child” standard before Saskatchewan judges will approve the agreement. Thus, it’s important to understand how the courts view child support, child custody, and visitation issues.
Whenever possible, courts in Saskatchewan favor shared custody arrangements. This is where both parents share legal custody and where the child is with each parent 50% of the time, or close to 50% of the time.
When this is not possible, the courts favor joint custody arrangements where the child may become the primary residential parent, but the other parent still maintains a liberal amount of visitation and access.
Rarely does it make sense to sue for sole custody. The courts are only willing to award it when it can be proven the other parent is a danger to the child. Even then, you can expect the courts to award the other parent supervised parenting time in most cases.
You should also keep in mind that every settlement must include a minimum amount of child support as set by federal child support guidelines. Parents may agree to pay more, but they cannot agree to pay less. Who pays? Usually it is the higher earning parent to the lower earning parent, or the parent with access to the parent who maintains the child’s primary residence.
Spousal Support in Saskatchewan
Spousal support causes more tension and anxiety than nearly any other provision of a normal divorce.
If you or your spouse are eligible for spousal support the eventual arrangement will require careful negotiation.
In Saskatchewan, spousal support formulas take several factors into account, including the income of both spouses, whether either spouse is paying child support, the length of the marriage, the role each spouse played in the marriage, and a slew of other factors into account. Yet these are only guidelines. There are many ways to structure a spousal support settlement, and not all of them involve writing a monthly cheque to an ex.
Common Law Separation in Saskatchewan
While you can end your common law marriage through a simple act of physical separation for a year, the issues that you’ll have to sort through aren’t simple at all.
A common law spouse has the same rights as a formally married spouse. If you’re going to preserve your portion of the marital property, want to be assured that your children’s best interests will be honored, or want to claim spousal support you’ll need a formal separation agreement filed with and backed by Saskatchewan courts.
Get Help Today
We have offices in Saskatoon, Regina, and Moose Jaw, but we help people throughout the province, including residents of Estevan. We also serve other areas like Prince Albert, Lloydminster, Swift Current, North Battleford, Yorkton, Estevan, Warman, Weyburn, Martensville, and White City.Many of our lawyers have decades of family law experience and have even been published in prestigious family law journals, which means when you work with us you get all of the advantages that come with working with truly skilled professionals.