Divorce is a serious legal issue. The decisions you make during your divorce case have the potential to impact your life for decades to come.
That’s why you should consider turning to the experienced lawyers at Merchant Law. Our team has decades of experience handling some of Saskatchewan’s toughest and most challenging divorce cases.
Our lawyers are family lawyers first and foremost, but many have a background in civil law, business law, and real estate law, which gives them more tools to help them help you.
Here are some of the most common questions we get from our clients in the Yorkton area.
How do Saskatchewan courts handle the division of assets?
Marital assets must be divided equitably. Marital assets are defined as any asset that you and your spouse acquired together, after the date of your marriage. Sometimes marital property and non-marital property can get commingled, however, which can complicate the division of assets.
Equitable distribution does not always mean a 50/50 distribution. This can be especially true in a high net worth marriage, where one or both partners may own businesses, where retirement accounts can lose value if they are liquidated too early, and where there are tax consequences for every move either partner makes.
Instead, the judge or negotiating parties may look at each spouse’s involvement with each asset, the length of the marriage, the contributions each party has made, the willingness or ability to liquidate certain assets, the goals of each spouse, and the feasibility of one spouse buying out the other spouse’s interest in certain assets.
Your lawyer should be able to tell you both the best case scenario for asset division and the worst case scenario. During settlement you should be looking to find solutions that place your eventual divorce settlement between these two extremes. Your ultimate settlement will usually be more favorable if you and your spouse settle than it would be if you forced the courts to make split-second decisions on behalf of both of you.
What makes a farm divorce different from other types of divorce?
A farm divorce combines many of the challenges of a high net worth divorce with the special considerations that come from owning a farm. The farm serves as both the family home and the family business. Marital assets could include farming equipment vital to performing business labor but which would still, under normal circumstances, be something a judge could order sold in order to divide the assets.
It takes keen negotiation and problem-solving skills on the part of your family lawyer to develop solutions that can save the farm. In addition our farm divorce lawyers help to solve the major issues of the divorce like spousal support and child support, issues that can be vastly complicated by the fact that farmers generally have a variable income from year to year.
We’ve used solutions like structured buy-outs, equalization payments, and business restructuring to help save family farms and preserve the farm inheritance for the children of the marriage. Let us help you navigate these complex issues.
How do child support, child custody, and child visitation work in Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan follows federal guidelines, which means every decision that gets made must be in the best interests of the child.
In most cases, this is going to mean that both parents get shared custody. This means the child will live with each parent nearly 50% of the time, or as close to 50% of the time as possible.
When this isn’t possible, one parent may have primary custody of the child but the judge will want to see the child get as much visitation as possible.
There are, of course, exceptions. There are times when one parent represents a danger to the child. If you can prove this you may be able to get sole custody of the child. Yet this is very rare, and you should take that into account when planning your divorce strategy.
Note that the judge will not approve a divorce settlement that doesn’t include a child support arrangement. One parent will always end up paying the other parent child support in accordance with federal guidelines. When custody is shared the courts look at how much each parent would have been paying. The higher earning parent subtracts the lower earning parent’s amount from their payment and pays the difference.
How does spousal support work in Saskatchewan?
Either spouse may request spousal support. The first thing that must be determined is whether either of them are eligible for it.
Lifelong spousal support is relatively rare. Instead lawyers use complex computer programs to come up with a fair amount based on the length of the marriage, the earning power of both spouses, whether or not child support is already being paid, and more.
The purpose of spousal support is generally to help the other spouse get on their feet and to live independently after the marriage is over. There are many options for negotiating an arrangement that doesn’t cause undue financial harm to the payor.
How does common law separation work in Saskatchewan?
While you can end your common law marriage through the simple act of physical separation, you will generally want a formal separation agreement to protect your property rights, to obtain spousal support, and most of all to protect the co-parenting or custody arrangement you and your ex come up with to address the needs of any children.
A formal separation agreement creates a court-backed agreement. Speak to your lawyer about putting one together today.
Get Help With Your Saskatchewan Divorce Today
We have offices in Saskatoon, Regina, and Moose Jaw, but we help people throughout the province, including residents of Yorkton. We also serve other areas like Prince Albert, Lloydminster, Swift Current, North Battleford, 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.
Schedule an appointment to go over the facts of your divorce case by calling (306) 359-7777 today.