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Saturday, July 02, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

Assisting Families through Separation and Divorce

Family Matters helps families going through separation or divorce by providing you access to:

  • Information and resources to deal with a changing family situation.
  • Assistance to resolve urgent and outstanding issues.

The program aims to minimize the impact of separation and divorce on all family members – especially children.

How do I use the Family Matters program?

  1. When you contact Family Matters, you will reach an Intake Worker.
  2. The Intake Worker will discuss your situation with you to see what help you may need. They may ask you questions like:
    • How long have you been separated?
    • Do you have children?
    • Have you made a decision on parenting time?
    • What are the pressing issues you are experiencing?
  3. The Intake Worker will then recommend what support or guidance may help you.
  4. If further assistance is required, you will be referred to a service provider who will work with both parties to resolve issues.

Contact Family Matters

To use this program:

Family Matters is a three-year pilot project and available in Saskatchewan from:

  • Saskatoon and Prince Albert  - November 1, 2014
  • Regina and Moose Jaw - April 1, 2015
  • Province wide - April 1, 2016

Find information and resources to help minimize the impact of separation or divorce on your children.

Find out about the legal services available to assist you with your separation and divorce.

Family mediation is a problem-solving process to help people resolve family conflict resulting from a relationship breakdown. A mediator assists people to clearly define their issues and reach agreement on those issues in a productive way.


Myths Truths

“I can stop paying child support when my child turns 18.”

Child support may be payable for children over the age of 18 who are still attending school, or have an illness or disability, so continue to be dependent on their parents.

“My one night stand got pregnant – she told me she was on the pill.  She can’t come after me for child support.”

Every parent has financial responsibility for their children.  Every child has the right to be supported.

“If my ex can afford to go on fancy holidays, then I don’t need to pay child support.”

Child support is based on calculations of how much a parent at a certain income level would spend on a child, including food, shelter, clothing, and spending on things like entertainment and vacations.  These calculations are the basis of the Child Support Guidelines Tables.  The courts rarely adjust child support based on the spending habits of either the payor or recipient.

“No one is going to tell me how much child support I need to pay.”

Federal Child Support Guidelines set out the amount of child support payable, based on the parent’s income and number of children. Deviation from these amounts by the courts is rare.

“I don’t get to see the kids so I don’t have to pay any child support.”

“He can only see the kids if he pays child support.”

A child has the right to have a relationship with both parents, and to be financially supported.  Preventing the child from spending time with the other parent because support has not been paid, or vice versa, punishes the child twice.  This is the way a judge would view the situation.

“When my children turn 12, they can decide who they want to live with – mom or dad.” There is no law in Saskatchewan setting a specific age when a child can decide where they would like to live.  Judges can take into account the wishes of the child, having regard to the age and maturity of the child. Every case is unique.

“I’m going to get sole custody.”

Over half of agreements and orders are for joint custody.  Sole custody arrangements are becoming rarer over time.

“Mothers always get custody of the children.”

Joint legal custody is the most common arrangement where the parents are separated.  This may not mean equal  parenting time, but both parents will be involved in making major decisions on behalf of children.

“I have to fight to protect my child.”

Children will have a greater chance to thrive in an environment where they are not exposed to conflict between their parents.

“Once the divorce is final – I’m done with my ex!”

Certain issues may be resolved with the finalization of a divorce.

However, if you have children together, parenting issues will exist into your children’s adulthood.

“Our house is only in my name and I made all the payments – so I get to keep it.”

“I earned the money in our house – my spouse didn’t work, so I should get more of our property.”

Family property division legislation in Saskatchewan states that the equity in the family home will be divided equally between spouses, regardless of whose name is on the title, and who contributed financially to the home.

“My cheating spouse is going to pay.”

The amount of Spousal support is most closely linked to incomes of the parties. Just because one party has cheated does not mean he or she will have to pay a higher amount of spousal support.

Saskatchewan family property division laws are “no fault”. Property division is not influenced by the reasons for why a relationship ended.

“All ex-wives get spousal support.”

Spousal support takes into consideration the financial position of both spouses, the length of the spousal relationship, the roles of each spouse during the relationship, the effects of the breakdown of the relationship, as well as many other factors.

Not every situation leads to awards of spousal support.

“The judge will see how awful my ex is and will take my side.”

The judge will usually hear two different stories from the parties and will disregard any information that is not relevant to the dispute.

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