(Ottawa) - Today the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is pleased to release a new report, Finding fault with no-fault divorce.
When a city counselor in Mexico City recently proposed temporary marriage licenses, a range of reactions from appreciation to disbelief ensued. While this idea may be a source of controversy, the reality is that Canadian law actually values marriage as a short-term prospect through no-fault divorce.
Under current Canadian law, one person in a couple can decide to get a divorce for any reason or no reason at all two weeks, two months or two years into their marriage. One party can unilaterally initiate divorce simply by moving out.
The result has been
- More divorce
- Increased poverty
- An initiation into early adulthood for children, who are forced to navigate the difficult terrain of their parent’s breakup
Some of the goals of no-fault divorce included decreasing the acrimony with which divorce occurs, decreasing family involvement in the courts and increasing an individual’s right to pursue happiness. It has not been successful on any of these counts. Research shows that when unhappily married couples manage to avoid divorce they are happily married five years later; those who divorce are no happier than those who stayed married.
Recently, attention turned toward a legal loophole whereby non-resident couples who married in Canada found they couldn’t divorce due to the one-year residency requirement. This proved to be a tempest in a teapot, however, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to strengthening the institution of marriage in Canada.
“For the vast majority of Canadian couples, divorce is the result of a low-conflict marriage,” says author Andrea Mrozek. “The reasons given for low-conflict divorces are so universal that were everyone to divorce for these same reasons, we would have a 100 percent divorce rate. It’s time to work on creating strong marriages instead of allowing for easier divorces.”
To download the full report, click here.
To arrange an interview, please contact Andrea Mrozek, Manager of Research and Communications at 613-565-3832, ext 7502.