Dividing Property in Saskatchewan

If you’re considering leaving a long-term relationship, then you’ll also need to consider how to divide your family property. The rule of thumb for that is straightforward, but there is some nuance to it. It’s that the “growth in value of family property is presumptively divided equally”

Let’s unpack it together.

Growth in Value of Family Property


It is not the value of your family property that gets divided, but the “growth” in its value.

Growth starts from the date of your spousal relationship. That date is either two years from when you began living together, or it is the date that you married – whichever came first.

Growth stops at either the date that a Petition is filed with the court or the date that a trial decision is made. Unlike some other provinces, in Saskatchewan the endpoint is not the date of separation.

Because it is the growth in family property that gets divided, the value of property you brought into the relationship is typically exempt from division. However, this exemption can be lost. The process of proving this kind of an exemption can sometimes become quite technical. Therefore, if you believe you are entitled to an exemption for value brought into the marriage then that is something worth speaking with a lawyer about.

…In Value…

In Saskatchewan we do not divide the “family property” itself. We divide its “value”. This distinction may make more sense by an example.  

Imagine that you and two of your friends each own 1/3 of a small tech company. If it was the family property itself that got divided then your ex could potentially take half of your shares and gain a 1/6 ownership stake in that company. However, because your spouse is entitled to the value of your shares they typically only have entitlement to financial compensation.

When determining how much a piece of family property is worth, we typically use its “fair market value”. That is different than the purchase value. Instead, of asking yourself how much you paid for an item, you should instead be asking yourself: “what could I actually sell this item for?”.

…Of Family Property…

We are concerned with apportioning the value of “family property”. Family property refers to anything of value that you or your spouse have some interest in. It can include financial investments like pensions, RRSPs, chequing or saving accounts, cryptocurrency, etc. It also includes items that can be sold, for example, vehicles, tools, or artwork.

It is very important to know that, even if the item or bank account is only held in one of your names, it is still family property and likely subject to division. 

Identifying family property is a key part of the legal process, and one of the first things you can expect your family lawyer will ask you to do.

Presumptively Divided Equally

After identifying the amount of the growth in value of family property, the next step is figuring out how that growth should be divided. It is presumptively divided equally; however, this presumption can be offset by certain things. Most frequently, the equal division is adjusted by offsetting things such as liabilities/debts, and tax consequences on registered investments.

If there is a reason that you believe equal division is not fair or appropriate, then it this is a something worth speaking with a lawyer about.

Special Case – Family Home

No discussion about property division in Saskatchewan can be complete without mentioning the family home. The family home is the home that you and your spouse lived in together during your relationship.

Regardless of who purchased the home (or home quarter), how much you each contributed towards its down payment, or even whether the house had been paid off even before your spouse moved in, you are each still presumptively entitled to ½ of its net equity. This remains the case even if you are not both on title.

Next Steps

If you are curious about whether there are any special circumstances that apply to your own situation, or have any questions about family law in general, reach out to any of our family lawyers who will be happy to discuss with you.

This article is of a general nature only. It is based upon laws and policies in effect as of the date noted above, which may change. It is not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. You should consult with your lawyer to confirm the current state of the law and obtain advice specific to your situation.