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MARITAL PROPERTY - Equalization or division - Practice and procedure - Courts - Jurisdiction

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:09 AM  

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Application by the husband for leave to appeal a jurisdictional ruling. The parties separated following a common-law relationship of unspecified duration. In 2016, the wife brought a petition in Saskatchewan seeking equal division of the Saskatchewan family home and unequal division of family property. In response, the husband sought a stay of the action in Saskatchewan and transfer of the proceeding to Alberta. The chambers judge concluded that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench had territorial competence to deal with the division of family property and did not decline that jurisdiction under the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act. The husband sought leave to appeal on several grounds.

HELD: Application allowed. The proposed appeal concerned the chambers judge's interpretation of the respective family property regimes for common-law couples in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The judge's conclusion that the laws of Saskatchewan were more fair for the adjudication of the property dispute raised an arguable issue of sufficient merit to justify appellate review. In addition, there was a broader interest in resolving the proper approach to determining whether to decline jurisdiction where another province’s family property legislation differed from Saskatchewan’s in its treatment of common-law couples. The remaining proposed grounds of appeal were either questions of fact, or of insufficient importance to justify granting leave.

Hampton v. Boychuk, [2017] S.J. No. 458, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, P.A. Whitmore J.A.(In Chambers), October 12, 2017. Digest No. TLD-November62017006