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Mar 10-17 Dissolution .docx

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SOCI 3660
Amber Gazso

Separation and Divorce March 10/17, 2014 Outline * Divorce Law and Trends * Divorce/Separation and its Effects on Families 1. Divorce Law and Trends * 19 century: marriage was an indissoluble contract governed by English law * Dissolution infrequent, difficult, time consuming * 1968 DivorceAct: No Fault divorce laws were introduced in the ‘60s and ‘70s in Canada and some areas of the U.S * In 1986, Canada implemented the DivorceAct which considered marital breakdown as grounds for divorce * Divorce redefines ex-partners’obligations to one another and/or children * Common-law relationship over at time of separation * More than 1/3 of marriages end in divorce * The likelihood of divorce increases in the second-fourth years of marriage Theoretical reflections on why people divorce…. * Micro level explanations, Top Five Reasons for Divorce (Bibby 2004) * Different values and interests * Abuse – physical and emotional – mostly the wife * Alcohol and drugs – addiction (first or secondhand) transforms lives, ripple effect onto relations and families * Infidelity- sometimes tolerated for the sick of children * Career-related conflict – the case of someone who has a career who will move them abroad, or someone who is a lawyer and focused on law etc etc * Meso demographic explanations – correlated with higher divorce (age of marriage, cohabitation before marriage (there is a way out vs there is not), * Macro explanations – gender level expectations (changing gender ideologies/expectations), a woman doesn’t need a man to survive, the stigma of divorce has changed, changing cultural values (ethnic, individualism, more tolerance and respect for individuals), the economy (economic difficulties, labor market). Flip side: Why might you stay together? - In a panic market, people might stay together, not because they have kids, but because they are better of together than apart. * Average divorce rates increased between 1970 and 2001; stabilized in Canada between 1980 and 1990 but the “peak” was 1987 * The number of divorces has held steady in recent years * Custody of children after divorce is expected to be decided in the “best interests of the child” Question: What are some macro social changes that could explain divorce? The Squid and the Whale (Movie) Questions: How do family relationships appear to be affected by the separation? Thinking sociologically, what effects do you think the separation will have on the children? - Morality, alimony payments, emotional labour (managing emotions), - Dad has motive to hate mother because she works, had affair, etc - Older
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