Divorce* is a common experience in Canada.
Most people marry, and the divorce rate is roughly 50%. Our society’s views toward divorce has been changing over the last century and particularly in the last 25 years.
For example, marriage rates are not as high as they were 25 years ago, and people are marrying later in life. People are remarrying at older ages. There is typically a smaller age gap between husbands and wives. Same sex couples are marrying and divorcing. Cohabitation is much more common, particularly as an “on-ramp” to marriage. More children are born “out of wedlock”.
Reproductive technology and a developing legal framework for assisted fertility have affected family formations. Increased gender equality has created greater opportunities, goals and interests for women outside the matrimonial context. Global migration has influenced traditional views of marriage and created different forms of family life, often spread across different continents.
These and other changes in family forms have created a need for the law surrounding divorce to adapt.
Every divorce is unique. The family’s path to date and the individual personalities play a large part in defining what the divorce will look and feel like. Your divorce lawyer must know the ever-changing societal contexts, the adapting legal environment and the specific forces at work in your family in order to be achieve the best results for you.
* In this post I refer to divorce particularly, however, many of the commentaries in this post also refer to “marriage-like relationships” which includes common-law partnerships and non-legal (such as ceremonial) marriages and unions.