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Lecture 10

Lecture 10: Marriage Dissolution

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Ping- Chun Hsiung

SOCB49 – Lecture 10 (Mar. 18 2013) Marriage Dissolution Statistical Trends in Canada  Number of divorce filings: o Every year there are about 70,000 filings. o The peak was in 1987 when the “no fault” divorce was legislated. That year there was 97,000  Crude divorce rate o Shows the number of divorces for every 100,000 people o 22-25% over the last decade.  Risk of divorce over the years o The likelihood that one will file for divorce at each yearly anniversary. st o Before 1 : less than 1 per 1000 married couples  Relatively low to file for divorce before the first year st o After the 1 ndar: 4.3 per 1000 married couples o After the 2 : 18 per 1000 married couples o After the 3 rd: 25 per 1000 married couples o After the 4 : 26 per 1000 married couples th  Decreased slowly after the 4 year, because people tend to have children around this point. Which makes divorce more difficult.  Divorce rate o 37-38% of married couples end up divorced  Age of Divorce o Men: 43 years old o Women: 40 years old  Percentage of Remarriage o 76% of men remarry o 46% of women remarry  Child Custody o Usually decided by the couple, but if they cannot agree it is decided by the courts. o In the past it was usually granted to the mother, but in recent years joint custody has become more prominent. o In the last decade, when child custody was decided by a judge:  50% was awarded to the mother  8% was awarded to the father  42% joint custody Canadian Attitudes Toward Divorce  Even though many people say that Canada is an individualist society, the decision is made by the couple. But society still has opinions  Most Canadians agree that infidelity, disrespect, abuse, and cruelty are legitimate reasons for divorce.  There is a generational difference in whether the married couple should remain married if there are children involved. o The majority of Canadians would NOT stay in a bad marriage for the sake of the children.  46% said that they would stay.  Women are less inclined than men to want to hold onto a marriage simply for the kids.  Older couples are less tolerant to stay in a married. People who have been married for more than 20 years are less likely to stay married.  People who have been through divorce are less likely to be nd tolerant to unhappy marriages. 2 marriage couples are less likely to remain in unhappy relationships. Historical Changes  Prior to 1968 o No federal divorce laws in Canada. People had to seek the passage of a private act, or refer to English laws to end divorces.  1968 o Independent Divorce Act: Allowed for marriage breakdown.  Was “fault” based, the other party has done something that caused the need for divorce.  Most common fault: cheating, cruelty, and desertions.  1985 o Provided additional grounds for divorce  “No Fault Divorce”  No longer needed to prove that the other spouse had committed any legal fault when seeking a divorce.  As long as the couples could show that they had lived apart for at least 1 year, and had no intentions of getting back together then they would be granted a divorce. o Saw a major increase in divorce after this was passed. o Remains unchanged to this day. Implications of Non-Fault Divorce  It eliminated the fault based ground for divorce. o Means that neither party needs to prove/testify that the other party had done anything wrong (example: cheated) o Underlined by a single standard of irreconcilable differences  “We are just so different, and our differences are impossible to fix”  Re-defines the traditional responsibilities of husbands and wives. Effects of Divorce  Economic/ Social o Patterns  Downward mobility for women  Felt by most women and children.  Linked to inadequate financial supports from the ex-husband  Income likely to drop after divorce.  30% ?  Sometimes might not ever get back to their pre-divorce income without remarrying.  Upward mobility for men  More likely to maintain their pre-di
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