canadian divorce law

The Story Behind the Dropping Canadian Divorce Rate

Torn photo of home symbolizes divorceThe number of Canadian couples who filed for divorce dropped by 8 percent between 2006 and 2011, with consistent declines each year. While this positive news is encouraging, there were still over 53,000 couples who initiated divorce proceedings from 2010 to 2011. Many people attribute the dropping divorce rate to fewer partners choosing to marry in the first place and the shift in the traditional definition of family. There are now more couples in Canada that don’t have children than do. Cohabitation and common law unions have also increased in recent years.

Top Reasons for Getting Divorced

There are many reasons couples end up divorced. Here are some of the most common.

  • Different Values and Interests

Some partners may not truly discover their values and interests are misaligned until after they are married, which can cause big problems in a relationship. A disagreement that might have seemed minor when dating may develop into a huge point of contention after the wedding. People also evolve over time, and priorities, likes and dislikes can change during the course of a marriage.

  • Disagreements Over Finances

Money is a contributing factor in many divorces. One partner may be a spender while the other is a saver. Having a very candid conversation about finances before tying the knot is highly recommended.

  • Getting Married Too Young

The age at which partners marry can have a definite impact on the success or failure of the longevity of their relationship. Many studies have concluded people who wed later in life are less likely to get divorced. This trend has been linked to many factors. These factors include having time to date more people, dating the person you marry longer, more opportunity to focus on building a career and more time to fully realize what’s important and necessary for a successful relationship.

  • Infidelity

Infidelity is the cause of many divorces. Some partners may ultimately discover it is too difficult to commit to only one person. Relationships can also dissolve to a point where couples drive each other to search for someone else.

  • Substance Abuse

Having a strong, long-lasting marriage can be difficult, even under the best circumstances. If one or both spouses are addicted to alcohol or drugs, divorce is a much more likely outcome.

  • Emotional or Physical Abuse

Relationships that involve emotional or physical abuse are unhealthy, to say the least. Ending your marriage if you are subject to these circumstances is often the best alternative.


The High Rate of Divorce in Quebec

The percentage of couples who file for divorce varies by province and territory. The national average is approximately 37 percent. Quebec’s rate is substantially higher with a divorce rate of 48 percent, according to Statistics Canada. The lowest rate of divorce is 21 percent in Labrador and Newfoundland.


How Much Does Getting Divorced Cost?

The cost for getting divorced can vary widely depending on whether it is uncontested or contested. When spouses are in agreement about the terms of the divorce, including distribution of assets and custody arrangements if there are children, the proceedings are uncontested. The process is faster and less expensive because it often does not have to be resolved in court, and there are no legal fees. In 2011, the average cost of an uncontested divorce in Canada was $1,353, according to a survey by Canada Lawyers. In contested divorces, the financial stakes are usually higher and more complicated. Lawyers are involved and there may be a lengthy trial. The price tag for a contested in divorce in Canada in 2011 ranged from $7,208 to $74,122, with an average of $12,875.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult experience. The good news is fewer Canadian couples are getting divorced. However, there are many details behind this statistic that better clarify the true situation.