Guarantees of loans from financial institutions by a family member of the borrower can be problematic, especially if the guarantor is a vulnerable elderly person. The Commission recommends consumer protection measures to protect guarantors, including enhanced mandatory disclosure by financial institutions of the legal effects of guarantees.
This consultation paper investigates loans made by one family member to another, and guarantees of loans obtained from financial institutions by a family member of the borrower. Both are common, and are often ways in which a parent can help an adult child financially. Unfortunately, both can also lead to misunderstanding. Potential problems are greatest if the lender or guarantor is a vulnerable elderly person. In such cases, the financial transaction may amount to elder abuse.
Under the present law, a will is automatically revoked on marriage or divorce. These long-standing rules are intended to protect the interests of spouses and children of the makers of wills. However, it has been suggested the the changing social and legal context may sometimes defeat the purpose of the rules, and even make them a problem. This Consultation Paper discusses when a will is automatically revoked due to marriage or divorce.
The Commission recommends that common law relationships be included under The Matrimonial Property Act. People in same-sex common law cohabitation relationships should be able to opt into the system. In addition, the province ought to consider a scheme under which cohabitees, whether in a sexual relationship or not, may choose to be governed by the legal rules that apply to families.
After fifteen years of experience with the Matrimonial Property Act, the Commission recommends amendments to correct problems of implementation. Clear definitions of matrimonial property and value ought to be included to avoid problems in the division of matrimonial property. Provisions ought to be introduced to address the status of gifts and inheritances received during the marriage.
Using semen from a donor other than the recipient’s husband gives rise to a multitude of legal and medical issues. There is little background guidance on these issues. The Commission offers proposals on the legal treatment of artificial insemination, including confidentiality, civil liability, the selection of recipients and donors, and consent of the husband.
Marriage is now seen as a partnership between two people who expect to share in the obligations and benefits of their union. Matrimonial property legislation should be amended to reflect the current view. The Commission outlines basic principles it believes ought to guide any change to the legislation.
There is currently no obligation to consult a non-custodial parent upon application to change a child’s surname after divorce. The Change of Name Act should be amended so that parental consent is required, except where a court determines that dispensing with consent is in the best interest of the child.
The Commission proposes reforms in the law of guardianship of a child’s person and estate. A draft of a Children’s Act is presented as an alternative to The Infants Act, which is now disjointed and in need of modernization and clarification. The draft incorporates proposals from this report and from the Commission’s 1981 Custody Report.
The Matrimonial Property Act, though a significant improvement over foregoing legislation, retains some flaws. The Commission recommends that the Act be amended to correct these flaws and to better reflect current ideas of marriage as a partnership.
The Saskatchewan Mentally Disordered Persons Act fails to meet the needs of mentally ill persons requiring personal guardians. The Commission proposes a Personal Guardianship Act to provide a clear and efficient legal framework for legal guardianship. The Commission also recommends the creation of an Office of the Public Guardian, as well as an ombudsman to regulate the system.
Under the common law, wives had no legal status as persons apart from their husbands. While this has been reformed by statute, the Saskatchewan Married Persons’ Property Act does not create legal equality between married men and women. This report reviews some discriminatory sections and recommends that an Equality of Status of Married Persons Act be enacted to simplify and modernize the law.
This Report recommends that the maintenance enforcement system be reformed to provide a regular flow of income without trauma or delay. Defaulting spouses and parents must be encouraged and compelled to meet their obligations. A draft Act to Facilitate the Enforcement of Maintenance Orders is included.
Between August 1979 and May 1980, the Law Reform Commission published three sets of tentative proposals concerning child custody and child civil rights. The 20 specific final recommendations in this report (mostly pertaining to the Infants Act) would implement the Commission’s earlier findings and recommendations. This report also includes a comment on the proposed Children’s Rights Act.
Artificial insemination is an area of law with little regulation and many important social, legal and medical consequences. The Law Reform Commission recommends that legislation be adopted that protects the basic rights of all those involved. The Commission proposes a draft Human Artificial Insemination Act.
There are still examples of discrimination on the basis of marital status within Saskatchewan statutes. Married women are presumed dependent on their husbands in many provincial laws enacted in the early 1900s. Reform is needed to abolish this assumption.
This report looks at support services available in family law courts and how innovative approaches can be integrated into the court system. Procedural mechanisms must be implemented to give legal reforms proper effect.
Saskatchewan uses a flexible model that recognizes the civil rights of children and expands these rights based on age and circumstance. The Law Reform Commission does not recommend changing Saskatchewan’s philosophy in this area, although it should be codified with more clarity, and amendments should be made to The Infants Act.
The Law Reform Commission recommends that Saskatchewan abolish interspousal tort immunity and extend this abolition to The Insurance Act, where it serves only to help insurance companies avoid payments. This final report goes beyond the previous proposal on the topic in recommending repeal of an additional subsection of The Insurance Act.
Saskatchewan has adopted a number of changes to The Infants Act to modernize and codify best practices for the courts in adjudicating custody disputes. The Commission recommends that the legislature make explicit the rationale for these amendments to make them more effective. The Commission outlines specific recommendations for improvement and guiding principles for further reform.
Interspousal tort immunity is based on the archaic fiction of the unity of husband and wife, and is not supported by any of the arguments offered in its defence. If the abolition of interspousal tort immunity is to have any significant practical consequences, it must be accompanied by repeal of bars to damage recovery in intrafamily torts.
The division of matrimonial property is inadequate in Saskatchewan law. This report contains recommendations concerning the exercise of judicial discretion and co-ownership of the matrimonial home.
In this Background Paper, the Law Reform Commission examines the current law on children’s maintenance orders. The law is unclear, fragmented, and riddled with exceptions. The Commission identifies problems and some potential solutions before publication of tentative proposals on the issue.
Current maintenance law in Saskatchewan fails to ensure that those who are entitled to maintenance actually receive it. The law is based on the archaic idea that a husband is the principle wage earner and the wife is his dependent. The Commission looks at the inadequacies of the current law and at some suggested solutions. A second paper will be published containing tentative proposals
This Report makes proposals that are predicated on the idea that marriage is a partnership of equals in which contributions are made by both the husband and wife. Contributions will vary between cases and over time. Consequently, the distribution of property requires a combination of certainty and flexibility.
This Working Paper outlines a variety of approaches to remedying the unfairness in matrimonial property law. The present law of matrimonial property is unfair as it does not allow recognition of the wife’s role. In response to this out-dated and complex law, the Commission outlines a variety of approaches that have been recommended or implemented in other jurisdictions. Approaches can be classified as discretionary, fixed, composite or patch-up.
Over the last decade, there has been an increased awareness of the rights of women. The law does not adequately address these issues. This minor paper is the first of three on the division of matrimonial property. The Commission discusses current law in Saskatchewan and its problems.