Facing a divorce? You’re now dealing with one of the most complex legal matters most people ever deal with.
Protect your finances and your relationship with your children by reaching out to the family lawyers at Merchant Law. Our team has decades of experience with divorce cases like yours. We’ve handled some of the most complex cases Saskatchewan has to offer, including high net worth divorces and farm divorces.
We have the background and success record to help you protect what matters most.
How do assets get divided in a Saskatchewan divorce?
Both spouses have equal rights to the marital assets. Often disputes arise over what is and is not marital property. An item is marital property if it was acquired after the date of marriage. Yet a piece of non-marital property can become marital property if commingled with marital property in certain ways. You have to be prepared for disputes, especially in a high net worth divorce without a prenuptial agreement.
In addition, 50% rights does not always translate into a 50/50 property division. Often the assets aren’t liquid enough to allow for that.
Careful negotiation can help to create a fair settlement. Savvy lawyers can help you protect the assets that matter most to you. Neither spouse will ever walk away with “everything” or “nothing.” Instead, it’s important to ensure you meet your goals, like maintaining control of your real estate or handling retirement accounts in a way that does not devalue them.
What’s different about a high net worth divorce?
High net worth divorces involve the most complex asset profiles. They also tend to become more contentious than any other kind of divorce, simply because there’s so much more to lose.
Our lawyers help you avoid costly litigation, guiding you through the more lucrative and cost-effective negotiation process. We work closely with your financial team to help protect you from unwanted tax consequences. We also help ensure your assets maintain their value.
We have handled hundreds of Saskatchewan’s most intensive high net worth divorces. We can help you find solutions that will lead to a settlement you can live with.
What’s different about a farm divorce?
Farm divorces are very similar to high net worth divorces, but they come with additional considerations. Dividing the assets incorrectly in a farm divorce could mean the end of the farm.
Most of the assets are necessary to run the business. While farms are often inherited assets, both spouses may own shares in the farm. The family home is usually on the farm. These divorces are not easy.
Yet we can help you structure a creative business deal that allows the farm to continue. We have used structured buy-outs, equalization payments, and other devices to help farmers stay in business.
We also ensure your imparted income isn’t set too high, which can impact issues like child support and spousal support. Farm income can vary wildly from year to year. It’s important to take that fact into account.
How does spousal support work in Saskatchewan?
Either spouse may attempt to push for spousal support. The first question that must be answered is whether the spouse asking is eligible for support at all.
The federal spousal support guidelines are labyrinthine, and lawyers usually use a complex computer program to come up with a starting number. Yet unlike child support, minimum spousal support guidelines are not mandated. This means spousal support is negotiable.
Many couples opt out of monthly child support in favor of lump sum payments. Some offer up additional assets to get the spousal support arrangements they want. There may be negotiations around the duration of spousal support as well.
Lifelong awards are rare. They most often happen in cases where spouses have been married for decades and one spouse has served as the homemaker.
How do child custody, child visitation, and child support work in Saskatchewan?
Any arrangement that is made must be approved by a judge and found to be in the best interest of the child. Every arrangement must include provisions for child support, and at a minimum the child support paid must remain in line with the federal child support guidelines.
Most custody arrangements will be shared or joint custody arrangements with each parent getting as close to 50% time as possible. There are exceptions when the life of the child is in danger or the health of the child is at-risk. In those cases, the judge might award sole custody with supervised visitation, but you would have to provide excellent proof of your claims.
Do you do common law divorces?
Yes. While a common law marriage can end by the simple expedient of living separate and apart from your spouse, this method will not help you secure your share of the marital assets. It won’t settle questions of child custody or spousal support, either.
To do this, you need a formal separation agreement backed by Saskatchewan courts. This must be negotiated just like a divorce agreement and must be filed in the courts. Once this happens, the courts will then enforce your agreement if either party breaches the terms. This allows you to get child support, spousal support, or visitation enforced.
Get Help Today
We have offices in Saskatoon, Regina, and Moose Jaw, but we help people throughout the province, including residents of Martensville. We also serve other areas like Prince Albert, Swift Current, North Battleford, Yorkton, Estevan, Warman, Weyburn, Martensville, Lloydminster 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.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Saskatoon and Martensville divorce lawyers to go over the facts of your divorce case by calling (306) 653-7777 today.