What Could a Divorce Cost in Saskatchewan?
There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question, unfortunately. Every marriage is unique, and so is every divorce. How much the divorce will cost is based on numerous factors, including the assets in the marriage, if there are minor children, and the disagreement between the separating spouses. The last item mentioned can cause significant expense, as extended disagreements tend to lead to extended court cases, leading to more funds out of pocket.
The Canadian Legal Fees Survey conducted by Canadian Lawyers Magazine found that in 2021, the average cost for a divorce in Saskatchewan was $2,050, while a contested divorce was $11,750. However, the latter figure can skyrocket beyond that if the divorce is both complicated and contentious. It’s not uncommon for contested divorces that have to go through court to run up to $50,000 or more.
What Can Be Done to Keep the Cost of Divorce from Skyrocketing?
The good news is that there are some things couples can do to try to manage the costs, not all of which cost money.
- Use the separation period wisely.
While there are three reasons people can divorce in Saskatchewan–infidelity, cruelty, or a year’s separation–the separation is the most common reason people list for their divorce action. When a couple is separated for a year, that’s a good time to take stock of what each party needs going into the divorce proceedings and begin negotiations. Even better, the separation period can act as a cooling-off period, allowing each spouse time away from the other to allow the emotions and anger to subside a bit.
- Gather your documents.
A divorce will require both parties to disclose many financial items, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, physical assets such as real estate, art, jewelry, business interests, stock purchases, etc. It takes time to gather that info.
- Turn to your emotional support network when needed.
It’s all too easy to lash out at the soon-to-be ex, whether in person, by phone, email, or text. But that can increase anger in both parties, thereby reducing the value of a cooling-off period. Find close friends or family (preferably not also attached to the other spouse) to vent to when needed.
- Work with a mediator.
Our law firm includes not just legal work but mediation. That’s because we’ve seen first-hand how mediation can take a contentious situation and help bring it back to a courteous one. There’s a cost to mediation, but when an impartial third-party mediator can help a couple negotiate and compromise their way to an agreement, it often takes much less time and money than trying to work through it in court. There’s a bonus in that the couple can leave the marriage feeling less anger and more closure. When there are children involved, helping the parents stay civil will be a positive for the children, too.
What Shouldn’t People Cut Corners on During Divorce?
There are also things they shouldn’t skimp on because that could cause them additional legal issues later. Divorce is a legal matter, and that means it has its share of legal terminology and requirements that can be complex and not always easily understood. Going it alone may be less expensive up front, but one simple error could cause a costly ripple effect later on.
- Have the documentation drafted and reviewed by a legal professional.
Whether it’s a separation agreement, parenting plan, or anything that details the division of assets and spousal or child support, an experienced divorce lawyer will know how to create a legally binding agreement. The couple can begin discussing this on their own, especially if their relationship is cordial. Still, when it comes to committing to the plan legally, it’s best to work with an attorney.
- Use separate lawyers.
When someone hires a lawyer, that lawyer represents them. If one lawyer tries to represent both spouses, it’s entirely possible that the court may overturn their separation agreement or other documents later. It’s also valuable in that each lawyer will look at the agreements from the viewpoint of their individual client.
- Reach out for help if things are contentious.
As mentioned above, your lawyer may be able to connect you to a mediator who can help reduce the anger and move the process along more quickly than battling it out alone could do.
Do We Need a Lawyer if Our Divorce is Uncontested?
Divorce may seem simple for a couple with few, if any, assets and no children. However, there is still value in having separation and divorce agreements vetted by a legal professional. There’s always the possibility that later in life, one or the other spouse would like to remarry and suddenly run into problems because of issues related to their past divorce. They could have to revisit the divorce, spending more time and money on something they thought was finished.
What Should I Do if I Think I Need a Separation Agreement?
Call Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation at 306-518-8107 for a consultation. Every divorce is unique, and once we understand your case, we can give you a closer estimate of what the overall cost might be. Because ongoing antagonism can drag the process out, causing it to increase in cost, we focus on a collaborative, holistic approach that emphasizes working together on a solution. When necessary, we can recommend mediation to smooth the divorce proceeding further, hopefully helping draw it to a close more quickly–and less expensively–than a lengthy court case would.