In 1994, The Queen's Bench (Family Law Division) Amendment Act, established a Family Law Division, which handles all family law matters. There are judges of the Court of Queen's Bench appointed specifically to sit as judges of the Family Law Division. At present these judges are located in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
The Court of Queen's Bench deals with all family law matters under The Divorce Act, including:
- separation and divorce;
- custody and access;
- child support;
- spousal support; and
- variations of custody, access, child support and spousal support orders.
The Court of Queen's Bench also deals with matters of provincial jurisdiction as follows:
- child protection hearings under The Child & Family Services Act;
- adoption applications under The Adoption Act
- custody, access and paternity applications under The Children's Law Act
- child and spousal support applications under The Family Maintenance Act
- division of family property under The Family Property Act
- domestic violence matters under The Victims of Domestic Violence Act
- estate matters involving dependent children under The Family Maintenance Act
- enforcement of maintenance under The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act
Some of these provincial jurisdiction matters can also be dealt with at Provincial Court in communities where the Court of Queen's Bench does not sit.
Other Family Law Services
The Courts do not provide additional services.
Family Justice Services Branch
The Family Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice provides a variety of services for people dealing with family law matters. This branch does not provide legal services or legal advice. It is recommended that everyone involved in a family law matter consult a lawyer.
The Family Justice Services Branch provides the following:
- The Maintenance Enforcement Office registers and enforces support orders and agreements (both child and spousal support). Enrolment in the program is voluntary. The Office receives and processes payments and takes enforcement action if payments are not made. It also works with reciprocating jurisdictions and their support enforcement programs where one party lives outside Saskatchewan.
- The Inter-Jurisdictional Support Orders Unit looks after registration of orders, applications for support and applications for variation of support in cases where one of the parties lives outside of Saskatchewan. The Unit also provides information on inter-jurisdictional legislation and procedures.
- The Social Work Unit prepares court-ordered custody and access assessments. This unit also manages the Supervised Access and Exchange Program.
- The Parent Education Unit is responsible for the delivery of the Parent Education Program across Saskatchewan. It is aimed at providing parent education and information to people dealing with family breakdown. The unit also provides information on options for resolving family disputes.
- The Family Law Information Centre and Support Variation Project is a public information resource center on family law and the Child Support Guidelines. It also provides assistance and information on varying child support.
Options for Victims of Domestic Violence
The Victims of Domestic Violence Act provides emergency intervention orders, victims' assistance orders and warrants of entry to assist victims of domestic violence. These remedies can provide protection or assistance to anyone who is subject to domestic violence, defined as one or more of the following:
- forced confinement;
- sexual abuse;
- acts or threats that cause reasonable fear of bodily harm or damage to property; or
- intentional or reckless acts or omissions that cause bodily harm or damage to property.
To apply for an order or warrant, contact the police, a lawyer, Victims Services units of the police, First Nations' community case workers or Mobile Crisis Services. For more information see the Ministry of Justice’s Victims of Domestic Violence Act information page.