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Surrey British Columbia Family Law Blog

Divorce happens when the give and take ups and goes

People get into relationships with all sorts of preconceived notions. The honeymoon phase doesn't last forever and if couples in Canada don't work on their marriages or partnerships, they may soon be heading for splitsville and ultimately a divorce. So, instead of giving each other the cold shoulder, couples might realize that there may be times when they expect too much from the mate and honest communication may be the way to remedy that issue.

Statistically speaking, things don't look bright for married couples. Four out of 10 marriages end in divorce, according to the 2006 census. Statistics Canada will no longer collect data pertaining to divorce rates in the country. But the numbers are escalating. Experts think it might have something to do with unrealistic expectations each partner places on the other. 

Getting around divorce bullying in Canada

The end of a marriage can bring out the worst in people. No couple in Canada ever marries with divorce in mind, but when situations change and life gets tough, some fences can't be mended. The only recourse for some couples is to separate. But, there may be times when one partner holds a grudge or is angry and he or she may resort to bullying tactics during divorce proceedings. There are ways to handle such behaviour.

One partner likely knows the other's Achilles Heel and may use it to add salt to any wound. Bullying may come in forms of name calling or outright threats, in which case authorities could become involved. A bully, even an ex, needs to see that such behaviour won't be tolerated and showing strength of character is one way of doing that. Standing up to negative behaviour will often stop a bully in his or her tracks.

Divorce in Canada: Reducing the tension

No couple wakes up one morning and decides today is the day for a marriage breakup. Couples in Canada make the decision to divorce most often when all avenues to rectify problems in a marriage have been exhausted. Although divorce can take its toll both emotionally and physically on the individuals and their family members -- especially children -- there are some things that can be done to minimize the stress a divorce can cause.

No one needs to go through tough times alone. There is help available. Even those who don't wish to discuss their personal feelings with a friend or loved one can find help in a counsellor, family priest or minister. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says it is important not to internalize all the feelings associated with divorce and there is no weakness in getting help.

Divorce can be a positive outcome for a negative situation

When a couple calls it quits today, it's not the end of the world. Gone is the stigma divorce carried in the mid-20th century in Canada. In fact, many conscious uncouplings today are done with the spouses remaining good friends for the sake of each other and for their children. Individuals are celebrating rather than hibernating after what used to be considered a catastrophic life event.

Divorce doesn't have to include the fights, the push and pull of custody battles, the back and forth diatribe regarding spousal support and the hollering about what's going to happen to the matrimonial home. No, today, divorce is much more civilized and amicable. Enter the happy divorce.

Many marriages in Canada end in divorce at the start of the year

January is the month for new beginnings and, apparently, for endings. The first month of the year seems to be the month when many marriages in Canada come to an end, or at least the month when people think about separating or divorcing. In fact, January has become known as the divorce month.

It seems some couples who have been having difficulties in their marriages don't want to bring things to a head just around the holidays, but when the presents have been opened, the tree taken down and the decorations put away, many couples who have been thinking about separating take a formal step forward. Even if they're not ready to dive into divorce head first, they at least start thinking seriously and perhaps planning next steps, in January. Many individuals whose marriages are in trouble, take this month to do some inner reflection and to make some serious, possibly life-changing decisions.

Dignified divorce in Canada in the modern age

Ending a marriage today isn't what it used to be back in the 40s and 50s. In fact, more modern married couples in Canada are looking upon divorce as a chance to grow separately as individuals yet still remain friends with their former spouses. There are times when great parents make terrible couples, yet they want to remain friends for the sake of their children.

These modern families even stay intact when one or both spouses remarry. Those who are fans of an amicable divorce say it's just like having one, big extended family. These divorced couples don't badmouth each other in front of their children, and, in fact, they often co-parent better than when they were married. 

Family law: Are there restrictions when naming a child?

Some children are given names today that no one would have even considered years ago. Celebrities seem to have paved the way with names like Apple, Moon Unit, North and the like. But, are there restrictions in Canada under family law, when it comes to giving children non-traditional names? It seems it depends upon the province in which the child is born and will reside.

Quebec seems to be the province with the most child-naming rules, including the stipulation that a child can't be given more than four names. Not far behind is British Columbia, which says the courts can step in and ask parents to change the name of a child if it deems the name not to be in the best interests of the child. The rule comes under the provincial Vital Statistics Act.

Does divorce contribute to chid poverty in Canada?

Married couples with kids who get divorced may literally be putting their children in the poor house, say some experts. Apparently, divorce contributes to child poverty, according to recent Statistics Canada census data. There are 1.2 million children who live in low-income families -- more the 531,000 in single-parent households, or one-fifth of them -- are living in poverty.

However, not all single-parent homes are the result of divorce. Some are the result of the death of a parent. However, for many children living with both their parents in a tumultuous atmosphere where their mothers and fathers are constantly hostile toward each other, it may be worse than living in a home where it's difficult to make ends meet. Both come with a downside. It could be, too, that low income is actually one of the contributing forces behind divorce.

Family law in Canada: Who to talk to before deciding to divorce

Making the decision to divorce is a life-altering one and one the majority of married couples do not make without careful thought. There are tools in place under family law in Canada to help with the divorce process, but there are some pertinent questions a couple should ask some experts before making a final decision to split. Getting advice that helps will make moving forward either way much less stressful.

Getting help from a therapist or a personal counsellor might be a wise idea, especially if the decision to divorce has already been made. A therapist may be able to help those going through a tough time. If a decision hasn't been made and a couple is indecisive, a marriage counsellor may be able to help with communication, especially if a couple believes their marriage may still be salvageable.

Canada family law: Child support and unmarried couples

Costs of raising children are escalating and most often it takes two parents to care for them, including financially. Family law rules typically provide that when legally married couples divorce in Canada, the parent who earns the most money and who usually is not the primary caregiver pays child support to the parent with whom the children are living. But what happens when the parents never married?

The federal government and individual provinces and territories make the determination as to who pays child support in the case of unmarried people who aren't raising their child in one household together. Though there may be slight variations on the legalities in each province, one issue remains the same: Parents have to provide for their children financially no matter what the status of their relationship was and is. The best interests of the children come first.