Frequently Asked Questions

Our Office is located in Saskatchewan.

If you are from another jurisdiction, this information may not be applicable.

Our Frequently Asked Questions page is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

If you require legal advice, please consult with a lawyer. If you would like to work with our office, please visit our website or contact us:

www.commonsenselawyer.com

admin@commonsenselawyer.com

1-306-975-7151

To get a divorce, you need to apply to a court in the province or territory where you or your spouse resides. Divorce application forms and procedures vary from one province and territory to another.

In Canada, there is No Fault Divorce.

There are three grounds for Divorce in Canada:

  • Separation for at least one year
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty

To apply for a divorce, the first step is to submit a Divorce Petition along with your original marriage certificate.

If you no longer have your original marriage certificate, you can order your marriage certificate from your provincial or territorial health services.

For more information on Divorce in Canada, visit:

Divorce Fact Sheet

Court Costs:

$300 for a Divorce Petition

$11 to Note for Default

$95 for an Application for Divorce Judgment

Legal Fees:

At our office, we offer a flat rate of $1,500 + taxes for Uncontested Divorce Applications

Other law firms may charge other prices.

Other Fees:

There might be other fees associated with getting a Divorce.

These fees are often referred to as “Disbursements”, and might include copying, postage, process server fees, etc.

For a breakdown of court fees, visit:

Saskatchewan Court Fees

If you need to order a marriage certificate, visit:

eHealth Saskatchewan

The process of getting a divorce is highly dependent on how busy the courts are as well as how quickly each step is attended to by the parties involved.

A divorce proceeding’s length starts at about three months and goes up from there.

For more information on Divorce in Canada, visit:

Divorce Fact Sheet

To become separated, a couple needs to decide that the relationship is over.

Some couples need or want a separation agreement to crystalize the date of their separation and the terms of their separation.

To make a separation agreement there are various levels of formality. Some people choose to make a separation agreement themselves and others choose to hire lawyers to prepare it.

Some financial institutes require a separation agreement that has a certificate of independent legal advice attached to it for each party involved. To acquire a certificate of independent legal advice, the parties involved will each hire their own lawyer to review the separation agreement with them.

To build your own Separation Agreement, make an account on the PLEA website and use their agreement builder:

PLEA Separation Agreement

Mediation is a process wherein a third-party neutral assists parties to have a constructive conversation with the goal of deepening understanding of each other’s interests and hopefully reach a mutually satisfactory solution to the issue at hand.

For more information about mediation, visit:

ADRIC – What is Mediation?

A mediator will conduct an assessment as to whether a situation is suitable for the mediation process. Sometimes mediation is appropriate even when there is a history of intimate partner or family violence, and other times another process might be more appropriate.

For resources and assistance for families who have experience violence, visit:

Government of Canada – Family Violence Resources

At our office, we recommend each party to book a private consultation with the mediator to discuss the process and their priorities, expectations, and concerns, before proceeding to joint mediation meetings with all parties in attendance.

After each party has their consultation, a joint meditation meeting is booked with all parties in attendance.

Some mediations reach a conclusion at the end of the first joint meeting, and others require multiple meetings before concluding.

Some mediation end in formal agreements, others end with a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives and parties walk away without the need for any written agreements.

If parties have tried mediation and cannot reach a satisfactory outcome, they can try another process, such as arbitration.

Collaborative law is a process wherein each party is represented by a Collaborative Lawyer. The lawyers and the parties involved all sign an agreement to commit to resolving matters without the use of litigation. If the parties decide to leave the Collaborative process and enter litigation, the Collaborative Lawyers must withdraw from the proceeding and none of the work done within the Collaborative process can be used in the litigation process.

In the Collaborative law process, other Collaborative professionals can be involved such as mediators, counsellors, financial advisors, etc.

For more information about Collaborative Law, visit:

Mediate.com – What is Collaborative Law?

Arbitration is the use of a third-party neutral to make a binding or non-binding decision upon parties based on the evidence the parties provide.

For more information about Arbitration, visit:

Mediate.com – What is Arbitration?

Parenting Coordination is the use of a third-party neutral to assist parents in resolving their issues related to co-parenting. Parenting Coordination is a bit of a mix of mediation, conflict-coaching, and arbitration.

For more information about Parenting Coordination, visit:

Saskatchewan.ca | Parenting Coordination

Many lawyers charge on an hourly rate.

At our office, our lawyers’ hourly rates vary between $250 – $500 + taxes.

Some legal matters at our office are billed at a flat rate. Flat rates vary depending on the service required.

To book an appointment with a lawyer at our office, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Retainers vary depending on the lawyer a person is working with.

At our office, during a client’s initial consultation, the lawyer will provide a quote for deposit. The deposit needed is not necessarily representative of the full cost of the proceeding and will be dependent on the individual’s service needs.

To book an appointment with a lawyer at our office, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Many mediators charge on an hourly rate.

At our office, our mediators’ hourly rates vary between $200 – $500 + taxes.

To book an appointment with a mediator at our office, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Many arbitrators charge on an hourly rate.

At our office, we currently do not offer arbitration services.

To find an Arbitrator, visit:

ADRSK | Find a Practitioner

Collaborative Lawyers rates vary.

At our office, the cost of working with a Collaborative Lawyer is $500 + taxes per hour.

To book an appointment with a Collaborative Lawyer at our office, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Parenting Coordinators rates vary.

At our office, the cost of working with a Parenting Coordinator is $200 + taxes per hour.

To book an appointment with a Parenting Coordinator at our office, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Couples can separate completely without professional services.

If a couple decides they would like to use lawyers to assist them with putting together a separation agreement, the hourly rate of those lawyers would apply.

At our office we see a range of costs. Some couples use very little professional services, and the cost is quite low, while others have complicated situations and use a lot of professional services to reach an agreement.

We’ve seen everything from $500 – $30,000.

To book a consultation to discuss how much your separation might cost, please visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Child Support is determined using the Federal Child Support Guidelines and will be dependent on the incomes of the parents and their parenting agreement.

You can look up what your approximate child support obligation might be here:

My Support Calculator

Spousal Support is negotiated outside of litigation using the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines and will be dependent on the incomes of the spouses and the length of their marital relationship.

When people “go to court” about spousal support, the court makes a ruling based on the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, the particulars of the situation, and Case Law.

You can look up what your spousal support range might be here:

My Support Calculator

Some parents agree to their parenting time arrangements between themselves.

If a parent is having difficulty in planning for parenting time, they might hire a lawyer or other professional to help them negotiate parenting time.

In some situations, a parent will ask the court to make an order regarding parenting time. This is usually an undesirable process option, as it is often costly both financially and relationally, and can take a long time.

For more information about Parenting Time, visit:

Saskatchewan.ca | Parenting Time with Children

Some parents decide that one parent should oversee making all decisions relating to their children. This might be because one parent is unable to make decisions because of geographical location or some other reason. To do this, parents might sign an agreement stating which parent will be responsible for all the decision-making.

In some situations, a parent will ask the court to make an order granting them sole decision-making for their children. This is usually an undesirable process option, as it is often costly both financially and relationally, and can take a long time.

For more information about Decision-Making, visit:

Saskatchewan.ca

When selecting a lawyer people should look to find someone who shares their values. For example, if it is important to you to resolve matters without the use of litigation, it is important to find a lawyer who advertises that they are a Collaborative Lawyer.

Another good way of selecting a lawyer is to ask trusted friends and family who they recommend.

Reading reviews of lawyers is another good way to see if a lawyer will be a good fit for you.

When selecting a mediator, it is helpful to ensure the mediator is reputable, has good reviews, and has the proper qualifications to assist you.

For example, if you need a mediator for a family mediation, it might be helpful if they are on the Minister’s List:

Early Family Dispute Resolution Mediator List

When selecting an arbitrator, it is helpful to ensure the arbitrator is reputable, has good reviews, and has the proper qualifications to assist you.

For example, if you need a mediator for a family arbitration, it might be helpful if they are on the Minister’s List:

Early Family Dispute Resolution Arbitrator List

When selecting a parenting coordinator, it is helpful to ensure the parenting coordinator is reputable, has good reviews, and has the proper qualifications to assist you.

For example, if you need a parenting coordinator to fulfill the Early Family Dispute Resolution requirement, it will be helpful if they are on the Minister’s List:

Early Family Dispute Resolution Parenting Coordinator List

If a person cannot afford a lawyer, they might be eligible for Legal Aid.

If a person is not eligible for Legal Aid, they might be eligible for Pro Bono Services.

There are also some lawyers who offer pro bono legal services.

If a person is not eligible for Legal Aid, Pro Bono Services, and cannot find a lawyer who provides pro bono legal services, a person might want to seek a lawyer who works on contingency or might offer a payment plan.

Some people choose to get a line of credit or other type of loan to pay for legal services.

If a person cannot afford a mediator, they might be eligible for Legal Aid and Legal Aid will either provide a mediator or provide an “allowance” for hiring a private mediator.

If a person is not eligible for Legal Aid, the Dispute Resolution Office offers free to sliding scale fee (based on income of the individuals involved) for mediation services.

In some situations, the organization involved in the mediation process will pay for the mediation services. For example, in SGI mediations, SGI pays the cost of mediation.

If a person is not eligible for Legal Aid, cannot use the Dispute Resolution Office, and there is no organization involved or the organization will not pay for mediation, the person might want to look through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Saskatchewan Practitioner Directory to contact a mediator who might be willing to assist for low bono or pro bono:

Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Saskatchewan Practitioner Directory

If a person cannot afford an arbitrator, they might want to look through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Saskatchewan Directory to contact an arbitrator who might be willing to assist for low bon or pro bono:

Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Saskatchewan Practitioner Directory

If a person cannot afford a Parenting Coordinator, they might want to look through the Minister’s list to contact a Parenting Coordinator who might be willing to assist for low bon or pro bono:

Saskatchewan.ca | Parenting Coordination

It is often helpful to start with the “least formal” process option and move through formality as needed. For example, discuss with the other party involved if you could reach a solution together without the assistance of a professional. If that will not work, the next level of formality might be mediation, and if that does not work, maybe arbitration and so on and so forth.

Here’s a helpful diagram of process formality:

Some people choose to write their own Will in their own handwriting, in which case, it does not cost them anything other than the cost of the paper and ink that they use to write it.

Other people choose to have a lawyer assist them. Lawyers charge various rates for the creation of a Will.

At our office we offer a $300 + taxes flat rate for the preparation of a Last Will and Testament or a package including the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Health Card Directive for a flat rate of $700 + taxes.

To book an appointment to make a Will with a lawyer from our office visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Some people choose to write their own Will in their own handwriting and keep it very simple, even as simple as just saying “I leave all to the wife”:

Other people have complicated wishes, and a lawyer can assist them in drafting a Will that properly reflects their desires.

Basic information needed is:

  • Who will be responsible for your estate?
  • Who do you want to receive your estate?

More complicated situations a lawyer can provide proper guidance as to what information is needed.

When a Last Will and Testament is drafted, the person signs it in the presence of two witnesses and it becomes a valid Will.

To book an appointment to make a Will with a lawyer from our office visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

A power of attorney can be made at any time if the grantor is at least age 18 and mentally competent. It must be:

  • in writing;
  • dated and signed by the grantor; and
  • either witnessed by a lawyer and accompanied by a legal advice and witness certificate, or witnessed by two competent adults, other than the named attorney or a family member of the grantor or attorney and accompanied by two witness certificates.

As above, a lawyer can assist with this, or a person can attend to creating this themselves using these forms:

All forms can be found here:

Power of Attorney Forms

Some people choose to write their own Power of Attorney, in which case, it does not cost them anything other than the cost of the paper and ink that they use to write it.

Other people choose to have a lawyer assist them. Lawyers charge various rates for the creation of a Power of Attorney.

At our office we offer a $300 + taxes flat rate for the preparation of a Power of Attorney or a package including the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive for a flat rate of $700 + taxes.

To book an appointment to make a Power of Attorney with a lawyer from our office visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

A person might attend to creating a Health Care Direction at the hospital preceding a medical procedure or might do so themselves using the following forms:

These forms can be found here:

Advanced Health Care Directive Forms

A person might choose to have a lawyer assist them in the creation of a Health Care Directive, and to do that the basic information needed is:

  • The name of the person designated as proxy
  • Medical wishes (example: no life sustaining measures to be taken)

A person will then sign the Health Care Directive with their lawyer and can be provided to the person’s health care team and proxy for future reference.

To book an appointment to make an Advanced Health Care Directive with a lawyer from our office visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Some people choose to write their own Health Care Directive, in which case, it does not cost them anything other than the cost of the paper and ink that they use to write it.

Other people choose to have a lawyer assist them. Lawyers charge various rates for the creation of a Health Care Directive.

At our office we offer a $300 + taxes flat rate for the preparation of a Health Care Directive or a package including the Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Health Card Directive for a flat rate of $700 + taxes.

To book an appointment to make an Advanced Health Care Directive with a lawyer from our office visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Legal fees for real estate transactions vary depending on the lawyer.

At our office, unless it is a complicated situation, we offer a flat rate of $900 + taxes for the sale of a property and a flat rate of $1,200 + taxes for the purchase of a property.

In addition, there are extra fees commonly referred to as “disbursements”. These fees vary depending on the transaction and may include title transfer fees, photocopies, postage, title insurance, tax certificates, etc.

To book an appointment to discuss a real estate transaction, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Legal fees for adoption vary depending on the lawyer and must be approved by the court.

At our office we typically charge hourly, however, discuss with your lawyer what the estimated cost might be.

There will usually be additional fees commonly referred to as “disbursements”. These fees may include, photocopies, postage, etc.

To book an appointment to discuss adoption, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

The length of how long the adoption process will take will depend on many factors.

Book a consultation to discuss with a lawyer the specifics of your situation and they will be able to give you an estimated timeframe.

To book an appointment to discuss adoption, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Litigation is often referred to as “going to court”. Litigation is a process wherein people apply to the court to have to decision made for them.

Litigation is often the most expensive process option. The cost may vary depending on the nature of the situation as well as whether the person is representing themselves or having a lawyer represent them.

We do not offer litigation as a process option at our law firm.

When a person with a Will passes away their executor may apply to have the Will probated.

People may choose to do so themselves or hire a lawyer to assist them with the process.

To probate a Will, the original Will is needed, along with the death certificate. The executor needs to provide an estimate of the total assets and how they are and were they are held (example: Savings Account Number XXXXXXXXX held at XXX Financial Institute in the amount of $15,000).

There might be other documents needed depending on the situation and there will also be additional documents that need to be submitted to the court.

When the application for probate is submitted, there are court fees that will need to be paid. The breakdown of court fees can be found here:

Court Fees for Probate

To book an appointment to discuss applying for Letters Probate, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

The court costs to Probate a Will can be found here:

Court Fees for Probate

The cost to have a lawyer assist with Probate is based on the Tariff, which can be found here:

Tariff of Costs

To book an appointment to discuss applying for Letters Probate, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

If a person dies without a Will, a person close to them can apply to be the Administrator of the estate. This is a similar process to applying for probate, with similar requirements and costs. The breakdown of court fees can be found here:

Court Fees for Letters of Administration

To book an appointment to discuss applying for Letters of Administration, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

The court costs to apply for Letters of Administration can be found here:

Court Fees for Letters of Administration

The cost to have a lawyer assist with an application for Letter of Administration is based on the Tariff, which can be found here:

Tariff of Costs

To book an appointment to discuss applying for Letters of Administration, visit:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Default for property division in separation and divorce, whether folks are common-law spouses or married, is often 50/50. Every situation is unique and property division can be negotiated through the separation process to ensure each spouse is as satisfied as they can be with the property division arrangement. If you have more questions about property division, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our lawyers:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

In Saskatchewan, the legal age of majority is 18. Therefore, up until that age parents are responsible for decisions related to where their children live. Many parents recognize that throughout a child’s life they might relate more to one parent than the other and want to spend more time with that parent. Furthermore, many parents also recognize that as children enter adolescence they are opinionated about where they live, and it might be difficult to enforce living arrangements that are contrary to where the child wants to live. If you are concerned about your child’s wishes being considered regarding where they live and how and when they spend time with each parent, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our lawyers to discuss child inclusive process options:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Though in Saskatchewan Collaborative Law is primarily used for Family matters, however, Collaborative Law can be used for any legal dispute! For more information about using Collaborative Law for non-family matters we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our lawyers:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

Depending on what kind of adoption, the process may vary. Most adoptions consist of a Guardianship Agreement between the biological parents and the adoptive parents, a Home Study of the adoptive parents, notice being provided to the ministry, as well as the adoptive parents participating in PRIDE Training. If you are interested in adoption, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our lawyers to discuss what steps might be required for your unique situation:

CommonSense Lawyer | Online Booking

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