Top Five Reasons for Divorce in Alberta

Top Five Reasons for Divorce in Alberta

According to 2016 Canadian census data, 40% of Albertans over the age of 15 are not married nor in common law unions and 8.3% are legally divorced or separated. When focusing on the long-term trend of married Canadians only, the data indicates almost 40% of Canadian marriages may end up in divorce. Attitudes towards divorce have reached record levels of acceptance and is not shunned upon societally as it used to be. More and more individuals are also getting prenuptial agreements in place – making the divorce and separation process as seamless as ever. At Verhaeghe Law – our Alberta divorce lawyers have seen many reasons for divorce and separation. Here are some of the most common reasons we have found over the years.

Here are the top 5 reasons for divorce in Alberta, and, not co-incidentally, nationwide:

  1. Finances – The majority of Canadians surveyed cite fighting over money as a top reason for divorce. Notably this is also a major point of conflict during divorce proceedings. Typically when budget-planning does not go well, resentment and finger-pointing start to arise and can devolve into constant arguments and ultimately divorce. A disparity between how each partner contributes to household finances and career-earning potentials can also become a point of contention over time. We see this as the most common reason for divorce which is why a marriage agreement prior to getting married is very beneficial as it outlines the financial responsibilities of each spouse and/or partner.
  2. Infidelity – Infidelity is a complex topic and the sense of betrayal, anger and resentment can often be too difficult to overcome for most people. This is typically one of the most emotionally charged reasons for divorce and can dramatically affect the nature of the separation and divorce process. Luckily, for spouses who have been cheated on – there are forms of restitutiuon available. Contact a divorce lawyer to see what your legal options are if you have been cheated on or have cheated on your spouse.
  3. Disconnecting emotionally and mentally from each other – After the honeymoon period is over and the lives of couples get busy with work, children, etc. it is common that couples stop investing the time and work required to maintaining a healthy meaningful relationship with their partner. More often than not, it’s a fading emotional connection which can result in a serious disconnect. In some cases, a couple can focus on their children so greatly their marriage becomes secondary, without recognizing or appreciating it. The same phenomena can occur with one or both partner’s careers.
  4. Incompatibility – Couples may learn over time that they were either never aligned in the first place or have evolved with different positions on core principles (e.g. wanting children, work priorities, etc.) Failing to be on the same page for critical lifestyle decisions can fester resentment and discontent. This can extend to different values and interests driving them to live separate lives.
  5. Domestic abuse – Experts know that rates of all family violence are under reported. For instance, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics cited in 2014, fewer than one in five (19%) who had been abused by their spouse reported abuse to police. Nevertheless, of all reported Canadian violent crime in 2016, 26% resulted from family violence. Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the biggest contributors to such negative spousal behavior with 25-50% of domestic abuse occurring when alcohol has been consumed. No surprise here that this is another major reason for divorce and separation.

Legal Basis for Divorce

In Canada, divorce laws were streamlined and modernized in both 1968 and 1985 facilitating a greater number of divorces. The federal Divorce Act provides only one legal ground for getting divorced – the breakdown of the marriage – which can be proven three different ways.

  1. One-Year separation (e.g. the “no-fault” divorce);
  2. Adultery; and
  3. Cruelty (mental or physical).

Typically, regardless of the true root cause, the “no-fault” divorce is the most commonly cited reason due to its straightforward nature. In Alberta, Statistics Canada shows 98% of divorces in 2005 cited one-year separation as the grounds for divorce.

At Verhaeghe Law Office – we always advise our family and friends to prepare marriage agreements or cohabitation agreements before getting married or moving in with your significant other. It’s a great way to safeguard your individual interests in the event of a breakdown in the relationship. You may benefit from marriage counselling or couple therapy prior to making a final decision regarding separation or divorce, depending on the circumstances. If your differences remain irreconcilable, you should speak with a family law expert to know your rights.

Regardless of the reasons for your divorce, speak with an Edmonton family lawyer today regarding your family law needs.

Our Edmonton family lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office our divorce lawyers have helped thousands of people across Alberta with their divorces. To better discuss how we can assist with your legal needs please contact our law firm today by calling 587-410-2500 and speak directly with one of our divorce lawyers.

Note: This blog offers general information for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Family law can be complex and you’re encouraged to seek legal advice to better understand your rights and responsibilities as well as the rights of your children.

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