Untying the Knot: Grounds for Divorce in Saskatchewan:
Anyone who has gone through a divorce will likely tell you it was a difficult time for them mentally, emotionally, and financially. Understandably, clients often seek advice at the first signs of trouble in their marital relationships. One question I’ve heard repeatedly in my short time practicing family law is “how do I get a divorce?”
Divorce in Saskatchewan is governed by federal legislation called the Divorce Act. Although this blog entry refers to Saskatchewan, the Divorce Act applies to all of Canada. In Saskatchewan, only the Court of Queen’s Bench has jurisdiction to deal with a Petition for Divorce, and in order to get a divorce, one must make an application to the Court. There are many common misconceptions about what a couple and/or spouse must prove in order to get a divorce, but the truth is there is only one ground for divorce in Canada: marital breakdown.
What is “marital breakdown” and how does one go about establishing that a marital breakdown has occurred? The Divorce Act sets out three ways to establish marital breakdown:
1. Living separate and apart for one year
This is, by far, the most common ground for divorce, and is the easiest to prove. Spouses are considered to have been separated for one year when they have lived separate and apart for a period of 12 months. Although the period of separation must be uninterrupted, a brief reconciliation during the year (up to 90 days) will not interfere with the calculation of time, as long as the reconciliation is unsuccessful.
If you choose to seek a divorce on the basis of adultery, you must establish that adultery occurred. You must also swear that the adultery was not condoned by you, and that it was not permitted or invented simply as a means to obtaining a quick divorce. Note that adultery can be difficult to prove if your spouse is unwilling to simply admit to it in an affidavit.
Finally, a divorce may be granted in circumstances in which your spouse has treated you with intolerable physical or mental cruelty. If your spouse has treated you in such a way that it would be unreasonable or intolerable for you to continue to live with them, the Court may order a divorce. On a petition for divorce on the basis of cruelty, the Court will consider the effect of the conduct in question on you, the victim, in order to determine whether the behaviour in question constitutes cruelty.
Please note that the divorce itself is only one issue a couple faces when their marriage breaks down. Other issues that arise when a couple separates include the division of family property, custody and access regarding children, child support, and spousal support. If you choose to seek a divorce, on any of these grounds, it is best to consult a lawyer who can guide you through the procedure of obtaining a divorce and settling the corollary issues that arise when a couple separates.
This post is for information purposes only and should not be taken as legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. Counsel should be consulted concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.
See lawyers listinsg on the Regina directory under Legal & Professional services.
Go eco-friendly with your home renovation:
Being kind to the environment is on the minds of many these days. If you’re planning a renovation at your home this summer, there are many ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even save some money. Here are some tips for “greening” up your reno:
Buy local – Choose suppliers that are close to your home and who sell local products to help reduce the carbon emissions that are produced during transportation.
Follow the three ‘R’s – Reduce, reuse and recycle! Before shelling out the big bucks to buy brand new, check out online classified ads, antique stores, flea markets or locate a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your community. You can find everything from sinks to lighting fixtures, paint, windows, lumber and more at a ReStore – the stock is constantly changing. As an added bonus, you can feel good knowing that your money will go toward building a home for a well deserving family!
Choose Energy Star rated appliances – Upgrading appliances to Energy Star rated models can save you up to 40 percent annually on your electric bill. Keep an eye on the labels when shopping for refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers to determine if they are Energy Star rated.
Go low with paint – Low VOC, that is. Did you know that the typical household paint contains more than 10,000 chemicals? Some are quite hazardous, particularly volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Many popular paint manufacturers now offer low and zero VOC products, so choose wisely. Low VOC paints are typically around the same price point as standard paints so it just makes sense to make the switch!
Eco-friendly insulation – During a major reno when studs are exposed, it’s probably in your best interest to replace the insulation, particularly in an older home. First you’ll need to find out the R-value of your current insulation – this is a measure of thermal resistance, or how much heat passes through the insulation. Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca for a handy chart explaining the many types of insulation on the market and their R-value.