SOCB49 – Lecture 10 (Mar. 18 2013)
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
o Before 1 : less than 1 per 1000 married couples
Relatively low to file for divorce before the first
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
Decreased slowly after the 4 year, because
people tend to have children around this point.
Which makes divorce more difficult.
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
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
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
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
tolerant to unhappy marriages. 2 marriage couples are less
likely to remain in unhappy relationships.
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
o Independent Divorce Act: Allowed for marriage
Was “fault” based, the other party has done
something that caused the need for divorce.
Most common fault: cheating, cruelty, and
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:
o Underlined by a single standard of irreconcilable
“We are just so different, and our differences are
impossible to fix”
Re-defines the traditional responsibilities of husbands and
Effects of Divorce
Downward mobility for women
Felt by most women and children.
Linked to inadequate financial supports from
Income likely to drop after divorce.
Sometimes might not ever get back to
their pre-divorce income without
Upward mobility for men
More likely to maintain their pre-di