CJC & Co. LLP is a boutique Family First Law Firm. Legal issues can be stressful, complex and daunting, but we are here to manage all of your family legal affairs for you. Our areas of concentration are:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

CJC offers services in mediation and arbitration.

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Mediation is negotiation and is a respectful interactive process with the assistance of a neutral, the mediator. A mediator is here to help the parties negotiate, they have no authority to force you do to anything, they have no personal interest in the outcome, and they may not provide you with legal, financial or specialized advice. The mediator is there to guide you in reaching your own settlement.

The mediation process is always to remain confidential, however you are encouraged to discuss possible settlement options with your lawyer or other expert of your choosing (ie/ Accountant). Any agreements shall not be admissible in any court proceeding. The mediator may not be called to testify concerning the mediation or to provide any materials from the mediation in any court proceeding involving the participants.

Mediation is entirely voluntary and if the process is not working for you, you may leave at any time. If you have been ordered to attend, you are required to negotiate in good faith.

Your mediator is there to help you with creative problem solving and they will:

  • Listen to both your points of view - they won’t take sides.
  • Help to create a calm atmosphere where you can reach an agreement you are both satisfied with.
  • Suggest practical steps to help you agree.
  • To encourage disclosure and exchange of information between the parties.
  • To help the parties understand each party’s views.
  • To assist each party with emotional expression in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  • To assist parties in recognizing differences in interests and perceptions.
  • To identify and narrow issues.
  • To assist parties in realistically evaluating options and/or alternatives to settlement.
  • To encourage creative problem solving and flexibility.
  • To assist the parties from moving their focus from the past to the future.
  • To assist the parties from moving from a blame perspective to a more positive emotional or perception discussions.

What is the process:

  • Mediator is contacted (usually telephone call) by one of the parties, or referred by other source, and will only receive enough information to determine if mediation is appropriate. Mediation may not be appropriate in certain circumstances. Some examples are a fear of violence, intimidation, bad faith. The mediator will then contact the other party and each party will participate in a questionnaire during the first phone call.
  • The participants will be sent a comprehensive package which will contain the “Agreement to Mediate.” This will lay out rules, fees, etc. The Agreement to Mediate and fees will be provided to the Mediator in advance of the mediation commencing.
  • The mediator will then have a one on one session with each party. This session is one hour in duration. The mediator will complete a comprehensive questionnaire and administer a mandatory screening to determine that mediation is appropriate. Each party will have the opportunity to provide their view of the issues to the mediator, a chance to tell their “story.”
  • A date will be set for both participants to attend the “Joint Session.” During that session the mediator will review the process and go over the ground rules with the participants. Introductions will be made and each person, including the mediator will make an opening statement. The parties will then either commence working towards a solution together or the mediation may move into caucus. In caucus the participants will be in separate rooms and the mediator will move between the parties to help them find common goals, and generate options with a view of reaching their own settlement. The initial joint session will be 2 hours in length. Each joint session thereafter will be 2 hours in length, or as determined by the mediator and patrticipants.
  • After each joint session the mediator will provide the participants with a mediation summary which will analyze the session, in terms of the discussions which took place, and develop strategies toward resolution of the dispute. The mediator will lay out the agenda and how each item on the agenda progressed including any interim agreements that were reached, information or disclosure to be provided and homework for the next session.
  • If the participants reach agreement on some or all of the issues the mediator will prepare a “Memorandum of Understanding.” This is the mediator’s documentation on the points of agreement reached between the parties. Each individual should take the Memorandum of Understanding document to their own lawyer for independent legal advice. At this point the process of drafting an Agreement based on the Memorandum of Understanding begins with the participants lawyers.
  • If the mediation is a family mediation and there are court proceedings the mediator will provide a “Certificate of Participation in Family Dispute Resolution.” To provide the certificate the mediator must be recognized by the Minister of Justice having fulfilled their requirements.

Why choose mediation:

  • Mediation is often more affordable than a court process and reduces time;
  • Mediation is fair, impartial and confidential;
  • Mediation promotes cooperation and communication;
  • Mediation identifies underlying issues to achieve a better understanding and allows personalized resolution.
  • Most importantly, Mediation Works!


Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution to resolve legal issues without going to court. Like mediation the arbitrator is a neutral, unbiased third party. There may be one or more arbitrators. The parties to the dispute will present their evidence to the arbitrator(s). Unlike mediation the arbitrator will make a binding decision called an arbitration award and is enforceable. The role is similar to that of a judge, they will listen to both sides and come to a decision. Arbitration is voluntary. The arbitrator must be appointed and must accept that appointment. A comprehensive arbitration package will be sent to clients who retain CJC & Co.

What is the process:

  • The arbitrator is contacted by one party. The arbitrator will not try to learn anything from the party, just the issues in general. If the arbitrator is interested and feels they may have the necessary experience, the next step is to arrange a conference call with both parties.
  • During the conference call with both parties it will be determined if the arbitrator has the necessary skills, whether there are any funding or deadline limitations, fees and costs including retainer payment, issues to be determined and the appointment and acceptance agreement.
  • Once payment and agreements have been received a preliminary pre-hearing meeting will be scheduled with both parties. This pre-hearing will determine such things as time and place of hearing, document disclosure, timelines, facts agreed to, witnesses and a narrowing of the issues. The hearing date will be set.
  • During the hearing any preliminary issues or objections will be raised. Materials or documents consented to will be submitted. The parties will be sworn or affirmed and will make an opening statement. Each party will present their witnesses and evidence. Each party will make a closing argument.
  • At the end of the hearing the arbitrator will declare the proceedings closed and advise the parties of the date that the award will be made available.
  • If the arbitration is a family arbitration and there are court proceedings the arbitrator will provide a “Certificate of Participation in Family Dispute Resolution.” To provide the certificate the arbitrator must be recognized by the Minister of Justice having fulfilled their requirements.

Why choose Arbitration:

  • Proceedings are normally shorter and less formal than court litigation;
  • It is private and confidential as is the resulting arbitration award;
  • It is generally faster and less expensive than litigation;
  • The parties have the opportunity to review the credentials of the arbitrator and choose an arbitrator that has the experience to decide their case;
  • The parties have input into things like allowing evidence that may not be admissible in court;
  • The rules are simplified; and
  • Most importantly, Arbitration works!

Early Family Dispute Resolution

Bill C-98 is an Act that was passed to amend certain Statutes respecting Family Dispute Resolution. The Act states that prior to proceeding to court except in certain circumstances parties to a family law dispute will be required to use one of the following modes of family dispute resolution:

  • Family Mediation;
  • Family Law Arbitration;
  • Parent Coordination; and
  • Collaborative Law Process.

Participants are required to file a Certificate of Participation in Family Dispute Resolution prior to continuing with further court proceedings. To provide the Certificate of Participation the service provider must be recognized by the Minister of Justice that they have fulfilled the appropriate requirements per service. CJC is able to offer team members who have been recognized by the Minister of Justice in the areas of Family Mediation and Family Arbitration and can provide the Certificate of Participation. A list of service providers can be found at http://www.

Please also see the Government of Saskatchewan website at:

Pursuant to section 44.01(4) and (5) of The Queen's Bench Act, 1998 a party who fails to participate in family dispute resolution is prohibited from:

(4) Subject to subsection (6), a party who fails to participate in family dispute resolution is prohibited from:

  • taking any further step in the proceeding; and
  • filing with the Court any further applications for relief.

(5) If a party fails to participate in family dispute resolution, the court, on application, may:

  • (a) strike out the party’s pleadings or other documents;
  • (b) refuse to allow the party to make submissions or an application or at trial;
  • (c) order the party to participate in family dispute resolution; or
  • (d) order costs or any other relief.

A party can apply to the court for an exemption from Early Family Dispute Resolution under the following circumstances:

  • There is a restraining order between the parties;
  • A child of the parties has been kidnapped or abducted by one of the parties;
  • There is a history of interpersonal violence between the parties;
  • One party provides proof of attempts to engage the other in family dispute resolution without success; or
  • in the opinion of the person hearing the application, there are extraordinary circumstances.

For further alternative dispute resolution please contact CJC at 306.384.4181 or

ADR Saskatchewan MemberADR Canada


Although an exciting lifetime event, adoption is a highly complex legal process requiring a lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience to obtain the Order for Adoption. CJC has expertise in providing prospective adoptive parents and birth parents with information they require to clearly understand their rights and obligations, and to ensure all legal requirements of the adoption are met. CJC is involved in all legal aspects of the adoption process and have the skills to navigate the four routes of adoption being, agency adoptions, relative and step parent adoptions, out of province adoptions and contested adoptions.

CJC is one of the few firms in Saskatchewan to provide legal services ancillary to adoption which concern reproductive technologies, including: heterosexual and same sex, surrogacy contracts, embryo donation contracts, egg and sperm donor contracts, and declaration of parentage applications. CJC will work efficiently to ensure your adoption process is as quick and smooth as possible.

For Saskatchewan Government policy and general information please consult:

Child Support and Spousal Support

Support Payments

Child and spousal support calculations require a determination of the payor’s actual income. A proper determination can be a complex process especially if the parties receive investment or corporate income in excess of regular employment income. After the total income from all sources is determined, payments are calculated based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines or the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.

Child Support

Upon separation, both parents have an obligation to support their children. Child support is payable for children under the age of 18, or children over 18 who are unable to financially support themselves because they are disabled or attending school full-time at a postsecondary institution.

The amount of support will vary depending on both income and the parenting schedule and pursuant to the Federal Child Support Guidelines. In the most basic sense, the parent who is primarily responsible for daily care of the children will receive a higher amount of support. If the parties share parenting responsibilities, child support will be payable by the higher-earning parent to help provide for the children’s needs. There are several types of child support the most common being: the “base” amount of support, and then “section 7” expenses. Section 7 expenses involve “add-on” support, where payments for daycare, children’s activities, and medical expenses are paid in addition to the base support.

A basic calculator can be found at:

Spousal Support

The law surrounding spousal support payments is constantly changing. The underlying principles used to determine entitlement to support are always subject to review by the Courts but are based on interim and long term. In coming to a determination of the appropriate amount of spousal support, the Court considers and evaluates the length of the time the spouses were together and the roles they played in the relationship. The right to spousal support is also based in part on the economic disadvantage resulting from the separation. Support is intended to keep the recipient spouse at the similar standard of living that they enjoyed during the relationship. Courts also consider the sacrifices the parties made during the course of the relationship. For instance a parent who set aside education or employment to stay home and raise children would be entitled to compensatory support in respect of that sacrifice.

The spouse claiming support will also be obligated to become self-sufficient and achieve financial independence as best they can. Once entitlement to support is determined, it is usually paid in monthly installments. These payments are taxable to the payee and deductible to the payor. The amount of those payments and their duration will vary depending on the facts of each case. As spousal support determination is highly complex, clients are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer to properly evaluate their specific situation.

Custody & Access & Child Protection

Custody and access disputes arise when two parents cannot agree on the ongoing rights and responsibilities of parenting. The term “custody” refers to the right to have care and control of a child as well as decision making authority on behalf of that child. There are different types of custody which our lawyers can explain to you. The term “Access" refers to the right to be with, or communicate (by telephone, skype, etc.), with a child. In most cases, this also includes the right to obtain information about a child’s health, education and general welfare.

If the parties cannot agree on parenting, the court will determine custody and access based on the “best interest of the child”. Some factors the court considers when determining the best interest of the child include: the quality of relationship with each parent, the physical, emotional cultural and spiritual needs of the child, plans of care for the child, and the child’s wishes (depending on the age of the child). A parent who does not have custody may still have access rights. This allows the non-custodial parent to maintain a relationship with the child. However, the Court will deny access rights to the non-custodial parent if there is concern regarding the safety of the child. The Court may also order supervised access by a third party.

The preferred choice of the Court is that the parties have joint custody so that both parents may be involved in decision making. Joint custody is not the same as shared or equal parenting, which depends on the amount of time a child spends with each parent. The parties can have joint custody with the child(ren) residing primarily with one parent and the other parent having access. Maximum contact with each parent is recognized as being in the best interests of the child, so long as there are no major protective concerns. Even when there are concerns such as alcohol, drug use or mental health issues, the parties, and the Court can often work around these issues to continue to facilitate contact between the child and the parent having difficulties.

Parental Alienation

Recently there have been many cases involving parental alienation. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) can damage a child’s mental health and well-being, cause aggressive behaviours, and destroy the relationship a child has with the “alienated parent”. PAS is often seen in high-conflict cases of separation or divorce. Our lawyers are well versed in this area and can provide you with information regarding PAS, the signs and symptoms of PAS, and reduce the risk of your relationship with your child being effected by PAS.

In many cases the court may order an assessment or report to be completed by a professional such as a child psychologist. The assessor will usually meet with the child(ren) and parents several times to conduct tests and make observations. They will then make a recommendation regarding custody and parenting.

Although parents can often come to a mutual agreement with respect to custody, the lawyers at CJC & Co. recognize this is not always the case. Our lawyers will ensure you understand your rights as a parent and we will work together to establish the best parenting arrangement for you and your children. The lawyers at CJC & Co. are sensitive to cultural diversity and tradition.

Separation and Children

Separation proceedings are extremely stressful and difficult for parties and children. It is a must to keep children out of the adult-nature of legal proceedings as they are profoundly affected by separation and divorce. Like adults, children have many questions and emotions surrounding separation. They feel confused, hurt, or even at fault for their parent’s separation. CJC are here to support both adults and children alike.

The following are common questions and concerns we have received from children about separation.

(1) Is it my fault that my parents are separation?

No. Children often cannot understand why the two people they love the most are unable to get along. Children cannot understand the adult reasons for not getting along and therefore come up with reasons from a child’s perspective. This is why so many children come to the conclusion that they are the reason for the separation. They ask themselves questions such as: “If I was better behaved would my mom and dad still want to be together?” or think “My mom and dad don’t want to be together because I always fight with my brother”. It is important to explain to children in general terms why the separation is occurring and ensure they understand it is not their fault. It is important children understand separation is an adult problem – do not make an adult problem the child’s problem.

(2) My mom and dad don’t understand me – I have no one to talk to.

During this tough time, a child is going to require a stronger support system than ever before. Although you as a parent will no doubt require support, you must keep in mind your child requires that same support. It is important you provide your child ample opportunity to ask questions and share feelings. It is also important your child knows that there are other people in their lives that are there to offer support. Good examples of support systems include: children and caregivers, extended family, or professional counselling (for example: psychologist, family doctor, counsellor).

(3) I don’t have a home anymore.

Children become confused when the familiarity of having one home is taken away from them. It is hard to wrap their heads around having one home to having two homes – from one bed to two beds. One approach to take is to explain separation is not losing something. For example, you will have a bed at each house and toys at each house. It is important that children know that even though that even though their parents are living separate, they still have a family and they still have a home (even if they have two!). Children are not a prize to be won. Don’t make them one!

If you are divorcing or separating we encourage parents to register to attend the Parenting after Separation Program. It is required by the Queen’s Bench Act, should your matter proceed to Court, but more importantly your kids are worth it. There is no charge for parents to attend and you will not be scheduled to attend together. You can register by calling 306.964.4401.

Want to know what your kids are seeing when a relationship breaks down that’s not so amicable? View:

Excerpt From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

What Maisie Knew is a 2012 American drama film directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel. It stars Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Onata Aprile, Joanna Vanderham and Steve Coogan, and is an adaptation of the Henry James novel What Maisie Knew (1897), about a sensitive daughter of a divorced couple, who are irresponsible parents. The story is updated to modern-day New York City.[5][6] The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2012.[7] Susanna is a pushy but seductive rock and roll icon who lives with Beale, a charming, distracted art dealer. Unnerved by the prospect of middle-aged stasis and each drawn to other lovers, they separate. Maisie, their only child, is caught in the middle, shuttled back and forth between her parents. They each attempt to start life afresh and use new partners, Lincoln and Margo, as a means of competing for custody of Maisie. Maisie, loving yet quietly precocious and observant, begins to understand how essentially selfish, irresponsible and damaged her parents are, as each of their new relationships quickly disintegrates, and Maisie plays a critical role in constructing a whole new family out of her two step-parents.

Remember your child is not separating or divorcing you or your spouse so don’t put them in a “choosing sides” position. They have the right to love both of their parents equally.

Safety and Protection of a Child

Family and Children’s Services for the safety and protection of children is available through the Ministry of Social Services for children (under the age of 16) who are believed to be in danger. Its purpose is to ensure that children who are in danger are protected from possible harm. A child is considered to be in danger if:

(1) The child has or there is a substantial risk of the child suffering physical harm by the person caring for that child;

(2) The child has or there is a substantial risk of the child being sexually molested by the person either caring for that child, or by a person the person caring for the child ought to have known might molest the child;

(3) The child is in need of medical treatment to cure, prevent, or alleviate harm, and the parent having charge of the child does not consent, refuses to consent, or unable to provide such treatment;

(4) The child has or there is a substantial risk of the child suffering emotional harm (evidenced by: anxiety, depression, withdrawal, self-destructive or aggressive behaviour) and the parent having charge of the child does not consent, refuses to consent, or unable to provide such treatment;

(5) The child has been abandoned or the child’s parent is unable to care for the child;

(6) The child is under 12 and has seriously injured another person or has caused serious damage to another person’s property and treatment is necessary to prevent recurrence and the parent having charge of the child does not consent, refuses to consent, or unable to provide such treatment;

If there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe a child is in danger, Family and Child Services can apply to the court for an order or obtain a warrant to remove that child from the dangerous situation. If the situation is so dangerous that obtaining an order or warrant would be unreasonable, Family and Child Services can remove a child without a warrant. Once a child is removed from their home, Family and Child services presents evidence to the Court that one of the above conditions exists and the Court should permit the child to be removed from, and remain out of, the home. Parents can also provide evidence that the child is not in need of protection at a protection hearing. If the child is found to be in need of protection the court can order:

(1) the child return to the parent or another person subject to supervision of the society for a period of 3-12 months,

(2) the child a ward of the society and be placed in its care and custody for a period not exceeding 12 months,

(3) the child a ward of the Crown (meaning the government), or

(4) the child a ward of the society for a specified period and then return the child to another parent or person for a period not exceeding an aggregate of 12 months.

Our lawyers can assist parents prepare and submit evidence putting forth their position.

Counsel for children

A child is entitled to counsel if would be in the child’s best interest. The Court considers any difference between the interests or views of the child and the interests or views of the parties to the protection hearing, the nature of the protection hearing, including the seriousness and complexity of the issues, the ability of the child to express his or her interests or views; and the views of the child regarding representation. For further information, please see:

Restraining Orders

When tensions or disputes arise sometimes they may create a volatile and dangerous situation. Reasonable people may act out in a way that puts the safety of everyone in the home at risk. If you have a real fear for your own safety or the safety of your children, you should immediately seek protection.

You or your child(ren) do not need to be physically assaulted for the Court to issue a restraining Order. If the matter is urgent you can obtain a restraining Order or peace bond by attending at your local Police or Peace officer station. The police are able to obtain a Warrant through the Queen’s Bench Act.

Sometimes a restraining Order is not required immediately, but the need may arise because of escalating behaviours causing the other party to feel real harm is imminent. In those situations there is legislation that allows our lawyers to bring an application on your behalf and request a restraining Order. For example, the most common may be that one party is restrained from attending the other party’s residence or the child(ren’s) school. At CJC we can help you obtain a restraining Order to protect you from an abusive spouse. We understand it can be difficult to take legal action against a loved one, but it is also essential that you put your well-being and that of your children first. We will be there to assist you through this process.

Divorce and Common Law Separation

Whether you are married or living common-law, separating from your spouse is extremely stressful. Choosing to separate or divorce is never easy no matter the circumstances leading to the decision. A common law relationship is two people living together in a committed “marriage-like” relationship. Common law couples do not have the same rights as married couples. Laws and criteria pertaining to common law marriage vary by province or territory. In Saskatchewan the definition of “spouse” when determining the division of property is governed by The Family Property Act, 1997, which requires continuous cohabitation of 2 years. The Income Tax Act has differently defines “spouse” when determining whether a person is to be claimed as a “spouse” on relevant government tax documents.

Obtaining a Judgment for Divorce alone can be fairly easy but often complicated when there are other issues. Property issues require assets be quantified before division. Spousal support requires consideration into entitlement, means, needs, and financial circumstances. Issues of custody and access involve determining the best interests of the child. Several factors make a matter more complicated, which we are experienced in addressing: removing a spouse from the home, forcing the sale of the home, wrongful removal of personal property from the home, substantial waste or squandering of property, and gifts or inheritances from others during the marriage.

There really is no such thing as filing for legal separation. You are legally separated as soon as you and your spouse are living separate and apart, even if you remain in the same domicile (though you may be required to prove you are living separate lives). This terminology may be the result of parties entering into a legally binding separation agreement.

The 3 grounds for filing for Divorce in Canada are living separate and appear for a minimum of one year, and not reconciling for 90 days or more, and adultery or mental/physical cruelty. The latter two require proof and most often legal presentation.

Alternatives to Litigation

Court can sometime be a stressful, costly and time-consuming process. Family law matters are best settled when parties and their lawyers agree to exchange disclosure and information allowing the lawyers to properly advise clients on issues raised by the relationship breakdown. In most instances, forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as negotiation, mediation and 4-way conference meetings (private settlement meeting) are encouraged. These processes are intended to be more comprehensive and thus, less confrontational.

Ultimately decisions to negotiate or litigate are the clients to make after being provided wit various options. Though settlement is preferred, unfortunately there are situations where negotiation is not possible due to lack of cooperation or there may be an urgent situation and the matter must be litigated. Our team has successfully appeared at the Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan.

Negotiating a Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a contract between separating spouses explaining the rights of each spouse when dividing family property, retaining the family home, spousal/child support, and custody/access to the children. Reaching a negotiated agreement allows parties to control the outcome and decide for themselves what happens in these areas.

Custody/access arrangements for the child/ren are based on the best interests of the child/ren while attempting to balance the needs of the parties.

Reaching Agreement on property division requires each party to disclose financial assets (bank accounts, RRSP’s, investments, and pensions) etc. and personal property (vehicles, household goods, and other valuables) and real property (real estate, including land, homes, recreational properties etc.). The goal is to fairly divide property acquired during the course of the marriage or common-law relationship, while keeping in mind the relevant legislation.

Both parties must receive independent legal advice in to create a legally binding and enforceable separation agreement. We apply our expertise to explain your rights in an accessible, easy to understand manner and work with you to create an Agreement suiting your family’s needs.

Pre-Nuptial or Cohabitation Agreements

You are financially stable first and then you meet your special someone, who may or may not also be financially stable. You decide to live together or marry. You don’t intend to separate at the time you are just commencing your life together. But as we all know, life changes and doesn’t give us any warning. Ask yourself, if you were to separate today would you want to share equally all that you have acquired. If the answer is “no” then it is likely you require a pre-nuptial agreement.

Almost half of all marriages end in separation or divorce. Relationships are not usually entered into while contemplating separation or divorce. But it happens. All you are doing is preparing, just in case you fall into that almost one half. You are clearly laying out what will happen to your finances and property in the event the relationship ends which at the time there will be disquiet, stress and anxiety. This will be lessened by entering into a prenuptial agreement predetermining what happens should the relationship end.

If you are in your second marriage or common law relationship, having a prenuptial/cohabitation agreement can be essential in ensuring that your property remains available for your children if separation occurs.

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract and governed by The Family Property Act. Upon breakdown of a marriage or common law relationship there is a presumption that each party receives an equal division of all family property, subject to exemptions and other considerations.

You and your potential spouse can choose how to manage the division of finances and property, possession of certain items, and disposition of assets, rather than having it imposed upon you. By determining how to wind up the financial and property issues should the relationship break down you will save significant legal costs.

Courts may set aside interspousal contracts that are “unconscionable or grossly unfair,” but if a party has received the required independent legal advice at the time of entering into the agreement, it will likely withstand most court challenges.

Similar considerations for disclosure etc. are referred to in “Separation Agreements.” There must be negotiations and disclosure. You just can’t see the future. Prenuptial Agreements will protect both parties and hold them to what they bargained for and protect items not yet in existence such as inheritances. Discussions regarding future inheritance should take place with legal representation.


Assets accumulated during the marriage are specifically classified and defined as personal property or real property. The next step is to determine what are family assets, business assets or individual assets. In the most basic sense, Family assets must be divided equally unless it would be unfair or inequitable to do so. Often, legal representation is needed to identify and divide family assets, especially if contested and or complex. It is not uncommon to engage a chartered accountant or certified appraiser to assist in these determinations. In some circumstances, extensive research may be required to uncover assets undisclosed. We can assist you in locating these assets.

Valuation of Family Assets

After family assets have been identified, our lawyers will facilitate the valuation of all assets, including complex assets such as real estate, pensions and business assets. We implement creative solutions to complex property division problems and negotiate and/or litigate fair property settlements.

We have a great deal of experience dealing with complex property matters involving:

  • Unequal division of property
  • Valuation of assets including businesses
  • Pension valuation and division
  • Registered investment valuation and division
  • Common law property division
  • Same-sex relationship property division

It is important to speak to a lawyer who understands the law and knows how to protect your interests at the very start of your divorce or separation.

Real Estate Transactions

Whether a first time home buyer or purchasing a revenue property, real estate transactions are often highly technical, time consuming, and require substantial paperwork. CJC lawyers have extensive knowledge in all aspects of real estate, including: buying, selling or refinancing. CJC & Co lawyers have the ability to properly address any legal issue that may arise during your real estate transaction, which surprisingly are not uncommon. Our lawyers work hard to ensure you understand your legal rights and to protect those rights at all stages of any real estate transaction. CJC is here to assist with these unforeseen problems so you can focus on what is important, the sale, the move, your family.


Understandingly it is difficult to think about your passing and loved ones left behind. It will be much easier for your family members if you have a will in place upon your death. By having a will, you will ensure that your property passes where you wish it to, and you are able to choose the person best to be in charge of your precious estate. We also ensure that there is sufficient authority granted to your Executor so that your estate can be dealt with as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. CJC strives to alleviate stresses associated with death by ensuring your estate issues are addressed promptly and meticulously. There is much on social media about “will kits,” we at CJC ensure that your will is prepared and executed properly and competently so that your family does not need to bring a costly court application to interpret your will or prove its validity.

Power of Attorney

A will becomes effective upon your death; a Power of Attorney is in effect during your lifetime. While you may have assets joint with your spouse, or have your spouse named as a beneficiary on many assets, the POA will not allow them to take care of your affairs if you become ill, injured or incapacitated. Your POA addresses your personal, financial and property affairs during your lifetime and avoids family members having to apply to the Court for a costly Guardianship or Co-Decision Making order. A POA allows you to choose who will manage your affairs when you are unable.

Health Care Directives

While your Power of Attorney deals with your personal, financial and property affairs, a Health Care Directive deals with your directions surrounding your health care in the event that you are unable to express your intentions directly. By having a Health Care Directive in place, you are removing the burden on your loved ones of having to make those difficult decisions for you. A health care directive removes the anxiety of what will happen to you if you are ill and unable to communicate your health care directions. You get to choose what treatment options you wish to have and which ones you are opposed to. Having your Health Care Directive done by CJC ensures that it is a valid directive so that your loved ones are relieved of the burden of having to guess as to your wishes.


When a loved one passes it is always traumatic for family and friends. CJC has extensive experience in handing estates and can help you through this difficult time. Applying for Letters Probate or Letters of Administration is an overwhelming process and can be very daunting, especially at this sad time. CJC handles estate matters, including court applications for probate, applying for letters of administration for estates without a will, and re-sealing letters probate from other jurisdictions. We can also advise you of your rights pursuant to the Intestate Succession Act (no will). We are here for you during this difficult time so you can be where you should be, with your loved ones.

Co-Decision Maker/Guardianship Applications

CJC provides advice relating to guardianship and co-decision maker matters and can help you apply to become a guardian/co-decision maker.

What is a guardian/co-decision maker and why would a person need one?

A property or personal guardian is a person who makes decisions for another ADULT PERSON who is considered mentally unable of making decisions for himself or herself.

A “ property guardian” manages the financial affairs and may pay bills, sell property or invest funds on an incapable person’s behalf.

A “personal guardian ” makes personal care decisions relating to health care, nutrition, clothing, shelter and hygiene on behalf of an incapable person and may provide medical consent or arrange for home care services. Often the two types of guardianship overlap.

The purpose of the guardian is to protect the adult and to look after the personal and property affairs, such as accommodations, social activities, and financial affairs. “Incapable” is a legal concept and does not mean the individual is unable to do anything for their self. For example, an “incapable” person might be a loved one with special needs or an elderly person with advanced dementia. In the event the adult is able to manage some of their affairs, the court may appoint a Co-Decision Maker rather than a guardian, who can assist the dependent adult and ensure they are making the right personal and financial decisions.

Incapable of managing property is the inability to understand information that is relevant to making a decision in the management of property, or unable to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision. Incapable of personal care is if the person is unable to understand information that is relevant to making a decision concerning their own health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety, or is unable to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision.

If the incapable person previously drafted a valid Power of Attorney then the individual(s) appointed as the attorney(s) would make decisions on the incapable person’s behalf and a guardian may not be required. We can help you assess whether a Power of Attorney is valid and the best course of action in the circumstances.

Who can apply to become a guardian?

A guardian is usually the first next of kin of the adult. However, if the first next of kin is unable to act, almost any concerned friend or relative can apply to become a guardian. A primary court consideration is whether the applicant cares about the incapable person and whether the applicant is likely to make decisions in a responsible and trustworthy manner. The application process is quite complicated and involves significant steps and paperwork that must be filed with the court. We can make the court application for you. More than one person can apply together to serve as joint guardians.

What are the duties of a guardian?

The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act outlines duties for guardians of the person and property. For example, there is a duty to keep records of decisions made and provide an annual accounting. Guardians must only act in the best interests of the adult, act diligently, with honesty and integrity and in good faith. Failure to act properly can result in liability for the guardian. In general, acting as a guardian is a significant responsibility with a variety of legal obligations and potential liability. The decision to apply to become a guardian should not be made lightly. CJC can assist in determining whether a guardianship application is the right course or whether there are other legal avenues more practical in the circumstances.

Civil Litigation

Contract Disputes

Everybody has dealt with contracts in their life. From signing up for that swanky new IPhone 6 to providing services for your business, we have all “signed on the dotted line”, sometimes not knowing exactly what we are signing up for. However, we understand that not everything always goes to plan when it comes to contracts. We can help in the enforcement of agreements in case something does go wrong.

General Litigation & Civil Liability

Uh oh. Something just happened that was not supposed to happen. Whether it is a property dispute or a negligence claim, lawsuits are complex and involve many steps and mounds of paperwork. Our office can provide expert litigation counsel in order to assist your matter through the court system.

Debt Collection and Debtor/Creditor Law

Sometimes people just do not want to pay when they owe someone money. Sometimes people make every reason and excuse not to pay. Other people may simply be testing your patience to see if you go away. We can help use the courts as well as the Saskatchewan judgment enforcement system to collect what you are rightfully owed.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

It is a fact that 96% of disputes that come through the court system settle before trial through negotiation, mediation or some other form of dispute resolution. Using alternative methods of resolving a dispute is generally both cost effective and less time consuming that using the courts. Our office has experience in mediating not just family law matters, but civil matters as well.

Builder’s Liens

Builder’s liens involve protecting the variety of interests in the construction process. It is also one of the most confusing and misunderstood areas of law by both owners, builders and subcontractors.

The purpose of builder’s liens are to ensure parties who work on a construction project are paid while also allowing owners the security from claims against subcontractors.

However, just because you have registered a lien on a property does not automatically mean you will be paid. Alternatively, just because you have a lien registered on your property does not mean that the lien will stay on the property forever. Let us help you, whether you are a builder, subcontractor or owner, explain the lien process for you.

Employment Law

Letting an employee go can sometimes be a difficult yet necessary decision for your business. Maybe your business needs to cut labour costs and the unfortunate fact is someone needs to be let go. However, there are times when an employee just does not “fit” with the team and need to be shown the door. We can assist to insure that the decision to let someone go does not result in a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee, or attract an investigation from labour standards or the Human Rights Commission.

Alternatively, as an employee, you have both statutory and common-law rights when your employment is terminated. Depending on the circumstance, you might be entitled to a severance package as opposed to the minimum amount payment in lieu of notice, or you might have a claim for wrongful dismissal if your employer wrongfully terminates you. We can help to make sure you are treated fairly and to recover any lost wages.

Estate Litigation

Just because someone had a will when they passed away does not always mean it is valid. It may have impossible conditions attached to certain gifts; the person who granted the will might not have had the necessary capacity to write the will, or another person might have influenced the grantor. There are also times when an executor or administrator (the person responsible for administering a deceased’s estate) may make questionable decisions that are not in the best interest in the estate. We can assist your family in the litigation necessary to ensure the wishes of the deceased are properly executed.

Corporate / Commercial Law

Contracts and Leases

Sometimes a simple handshake agreement may work out. However, in order to fully protect your rights and avoid issues down the road, it is necessary to have a written agreement that is clear and concise (not just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo).

Whether it be contracts for your business or a complex lease agreement, our office has experience in drafting a variety of contracts as well as residential, commercial and agricultural leases.

Buying and Selling a Business

Congratulations! You are an established successful businessperson who wants to sell your business (or want to purchase an established successful business). Now what? We can assist you in all the matters related to the sale and purchase of that business. It might make sense for you to purchase the business assets outright, but sometimes it may make sense for you to purchase the controlling shares in the company instead. We can assist in making those decisions for you, ensure you comply with all appropriate regulations and structure the sale to your advantage.

Partnerships, Incorporation and Restructuring

You have worked hard and have built your business from the ground up. Alternatively, you have a great idea for a business and have determined a corporation is the best vehicle for you to succeed. Maybe you have had a chat with your accountant and decided you want to keep a little more money in your pocket.

We can help you with the necessary steps to register and maintain your partnership or corporation. We can also help to ensure your business structure is best suited from a tax perspective, and can assist you along with your accountant with rolling over your sole proprietorship or partnership into a corporation.

Unbundling/Limited Legal Services

We are proud to announce that CJC & Co. LLP is the first firm in Saskatoon to offer: Unbundling/Limited Legal Services.

Unbundling/Limited Legal Services means the provision of legal services for part, but not all, of a client’s legal matter by agreement with the client.

“Legal Coaching” means a lawyer is offering “backstage” instruction to a self-represented litigant meditating, negotiating or attending court (primarily in family law). Legal coaching aids in explaining the process, practical tips on how to attend a hearing or negotiation/mediation, preparing your case, organization, assessment of positions, how to put forth your case, writing and research. Essentially your coach will guide and assist you through each step of your self-represented process, without being the lawyer on record, because you will be doing most of your own work.

Unbundling is not a new concept however as more clients are unable to afford full representation, services have expanded to accommodate self-represented litigants, allowing in part access to at least some legal services.

CJC & Co. LLP will provide limited scope services on discrete tasks or providing representation for one or more aspects of your legal matter without the expectation that our lawyers will represent you, fully, generally, or become the lawyer of record.

We will provide:

  • General counselling and legal advice on a number of legal options the client might pursue on his or her own;
  • Independent Legal Advice, such as review of an Agreement drafted by a third-party;
  • Limited court appearances or other appearances on behalf of the client, such as conducting discoveries; and
  • Assistance in preparing legal documents, such as drafting an agreement following negotiations conducted by the client;
  • Research and interpretation;
  • Refer to outside resources; and
  • Legal Coaching.

While one lawyer may be responsible for your file, we operate as a team. We do this to provide expertise where required, to speed the handling of the file for cost efficiency.

CJC & Co. LLP may provide you with assistance on the following matters:

  • Family Law
  • Estates
  • Civil Litigation
  • Small Business and Corporate Law
  • Criminal

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