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Should So Many Couples Choose Divorce?

From the Huffington Post

Deborah Moskovitch

Divorce Coach, Author, Speaker, Guide, Radio Host

Should So Many Couples Choose Divorce?

Posted: 01/15/2013 12:17 pm

*This article first appeared on more.ca

Have you ever stopped to ponder why the divorce rate has risen so dramatically over the past 50 years? When my parents married in the 1950s the divorce rate was minimal. According to Statistics Canada, in 1951 there were only 5,270 divorces in all of Canada. The number rose dramatically to a staggering 70,226 divorces in 2008 — a whopping 1,232 per cent increase in total divorces over 50 years.

This compares with an increase in the total population of only 139 per cent. Divorce was a rare event previous to the first world war with a rate of less than one per 1,000 of the yearly number of marriages, says Stats Can. And I suspect the statistics are not too dissimilar in the U.S., although the hard numbers are usually ten times that of what occurs in Canada. For example, the number of divorces in the U.S. in 2008 was reported at 840,000, by CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System.

There has been significant progress in divorce reform, making it easier and fairer to obtain. Researchers would most likely agree that not only has divorce become more socially acceptable, but divorce laws have also changed to provide a more equitable resolution for many since the late 1960s. The amendment to the Divorce Act to permit the reason for divorce as no-fault (in other words, no-blame divorce) has radically altered the factors influencing the decision to divorce.

In other words, divorce has become less of a stigma — you don’t have to prove fault, and there is more fairness in addressing financial concerns for the disadvantaged spouse. In addition, there has been extensive research on the impact of divorce upon the family, children, social outcomes and so much more.

This learning has enabled the development of more effective resources to help the divorcing individual. No longer does one feel forced to stay in a marriage when there is a serious breach of trust, or any kind abuse. These are very positive outcomes of divorce reform.

The grass isn’t always greener, so why the high divorce rate?

But, knowing what we do — that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, that divorce can be hard on children, lifestyle is often diminished, and the divorce rate rises with each subsequent marriage — why is the divorce rate still so high? Has the traditional wedding vow promising to love and cherish each other in sickness and in health until death do us part lost its meaning? Or, have expectations about marriage and what we want out of a partner changed over the years, resulting in this dramatic rise in divorce.

Choosing to divorce is certainly not an easy decision. For most, the decision to divorce is a result of a great deal of soul searching and questioning. While the legal system for divorce is far from perfect, it is significantly better than it was in the 1950s. But, upon closer examination, it appears that changing attitudes towards relationships and marriage have impacted the divorce rate over the last 50 years. I spoke with one of the foremost sociologists and researchers in North America, Dr. Paul Amato, who has conducted extensive research on marital quality and stability.

To read the whole article and view the HuffPost slide show click here


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Be a guest on CBS TV in LA

I got a call from CBS in LA today to potentially be a guest expert on a new daytime talk show. Want to appear?
Is there a “too old” when it comes to divorce? The numbers show “gray divorce” is up. CBS is looking for an older couple who is contemplating divorce, but being older is hindering their decision. I know it’s not an easy for many to discuss this topic, but if there is someone who is willing to come to L.A. and discuss it on television, CBS would love to talk to you and give them more information. You can respond to LADaytimetalkshow@gmail.com


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Divorce Rates in Canada on Decline: But So Are Marriage Rates

I have been quoted in The Huffington Post to provide an understanding of what might be going on with the declining divorce rates.

Divorce Rates In Canada On Decline: StatsCan Numbers Show Fewer Cases

The Huffington Post Canada  | By Rebecca Zamon

Divorce is on the decline in Canada for the third year in a row, according to a new Statistics Canada report. In a paper entitled Divorce Cases In Civil Court, 2010/11, author Mary Bess Kelly details the number of divorce cases reported from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, representing 66 per cent of Canada’s population.

According to these statistics, 53,804 new divorce cases were brought to civil courts in 2010-2011, a two per cent decrease from the previous year, and a number that showcases a five-year decrease across the six provinces and territories (all numbers for Alberta weren’t available). But it’s not as simple as assuming husbands and wives are staying together more than ever. Marriage rates across Canada had started dropping a few years back, going from 150,505 in 2006 to 147,288 in 2008. As Kelly notes in the article:

Family structures in Canada are changing. The proportion of married couples has been steadily decreasing over the past 20 years while common-law unions are becoming more numerous. The proportion of lone-parent families has also been steadily rising since the mid-1960s (Statistics Canada 2007). Although the number and rate of marriages has been declining in recent years, the number of married couples is still much greater than the number of common-law couples in Canada (Statistics Canada 2011 and 2007).

“It makes sense to me, because more and more people are choosing just to live together, which probably is the reason behind the decline,” says divorce expert andHuffington Post blogger Deborah Moskovitch, author of “The Smart Divorce.” “It’s not like people are choosing to opt out of a relationship, but they’re not making it official.”

Click on the link to see the full article http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/29/divorce-rates-in-canada-decline_n_1387979.html


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Grey Divorce is on the Rise

Recent statistics show that the divorce rate has increased significantly by couples who have been in long term marriages of 20, 30 years or more.  Just look at Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Tipper and Al Gore.  People seem to be scratching their heads asking, if these couples have made their marriage work this long, why couldn’t they last “till death do us part”.

The result isn’t really all that shocking when you consider the reasons why couples marry have changed over the past 50 years, and that divorce has become more socially acceptable.  What men and women are looking for in a spouse and their expectations of a long term relationship has changed.  Women wanted someone to take care of them, men wanted to be in a position of power.  Today, as more women become financially independent, looking to be taken care of is no longer what many are seeking.  Rather, both women and men want an equal partnership in the relationship, and a best friend.

I was interviewed on Canada AM this morning discussing Grey Divorce.    This is the information I shared.

  • Research shows us that more woman are leaving the marriage than men.
  • Often times when women choose to leave, their husband’s are blindsided by the decision.
  • Further, research tells us that more women are leaving for their own emotional well-being, while men are more likely to leave for someone else.
  • We are living longer, healthier, fitter lives.  When adult children leave home, and their parents become empty nesters, you have many spouses in their 50’s and 60’s looking at their partner and say to themselves – “I don’t want to spend the next 20 or 30 years or more with you.” Why?
    • People have decided to no longer look the other way when there are issues of infidelity, emotional abuse, and substance or alcohol abuse.
    • Many couples have drifted apart during the child rearing years, and once the children have left home, find they no longer have anything in common.
    • Often times, many of these couples were living parallel lives during the marriage, and now want a partner, not a roommate.
    • There has been a lack of emotional and intimate relations.
    • People have grown apart and their values no longer mesh.
    • Many of these individuals want a best friend and companion with similar interests and values to live out the rest of their lives; grow old and hold hands.

If you feel your marriage, or relationship is deteriorating because you are no longer the priority, have lost that loving feeling and still love your partner – you’re just not in love with him or her, then perhaps marriage counseling might put you back on track.

If you feel that divorce is the only option, you are not alone.  Many others are deciding that the” good enough marriage” is no longer good enough.


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10 Careers With Incredibly High Divorce Rates

This post was forwarded to me from careeroverview.com, and I thought it  provided a different perspective on divorce rates.

Various studies have been released that examine the marriage and divorce rates of certain occupations. Due to high stress levels, long or odd hours, and even job descriptions that involve a little too much touchy-feely time with customers, the jobs on this list rank highest when it comes to risk for divorce. If you’re in one of the industries below, don’t use that as an excuse for letting your marriage fall apart. Instead, prove that you’re the exception, and maybe schedule an extra counseling session or two, just in case.

  1. Fish and game wardens: The study conducted by the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, led by a professor emeritus at Radford University, found that fish and game wardens split up with their spouses at a rate of 25.5%, more than 9% higher than the average reports coming from Americans overall. Depending on your education, experience, and employer, you can make a decent living working as a fish and game warden, but the power trip you get protecting wildlife but not translate well into the domestic world.
  2. Dancers and choreographers: Dancers and choreographers have the highest divorce rate of any other occupation, and we guess we’re not that surprised. With tight clothes, lots of intimate partner practice time, and a job description that requires you to get down and dirty (even ballet is pretty erotic), temptation is everywhere.
  3. Bartenders: Similarly, we’re not super surprised with the bartender connection. The attractive girls and guys who serve you drinks and compete for tips have the second highest divorce rate, at 38.4%.
  4. Extruding machine operator: You can make all sorts of dirty jokes about why this occupation made the list, but we’ll blame the occasional night and weekend shifts and rapid decline in employment opportunities.
  5. Telephone operators: Telephone operators land in the top 10 occupations with high divorce rates, and we can’t blame them. An entire day of people hanging up on you or yelling at you? If your spouse isn’t whispering sweet nothings into your ear the rest of the time, we don’t see how you could possible stay sane, or even civil.
  6. Massage therapists: The Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology study found that massage therapists have a divorce rate of 38.2%, one of the highest. There’s only so much scientific and medical justification for groping, caressing and rubbing if you’re attracted to your client.
  7. Food and tobacco factory workers: There’s a 30% divorce rate for people working in food and tobacco factories. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this occupation also carries one of the highest risks for injury and illness, particularly if you’re in dairy or seafood. Workers in this industry also account for 54% of all jobs in America.
  8. Gaming cage worker: Gaming cage workers carry about the same divorce rate as extruding machine operators, with a slightly higher risk. Also possibly one of jobs where ethics comes into play more often than not, gaming cage workers are responsible for changing out money for chips, and handling all the cash and paperwork that fuels the casino. This industry also has a pretty bleak employment outlook for the next few years.
  9. Gaming service worker: With a divorce rate at just over 31%, gaming service workers may want to rethink heading to the Little White Chapel on their lunch break. Competition is high for this profession, which includes jobs in surveillance, personnel and operations management, slot key supervision, bet takers, and table dealers.
  10. Psychiatric nurses and home health aides: Taking care of mentally unstable or physically challenged individuals who aren’t related to you takes a lot of patience, commitment and understanding. A typical day — no matter what your exact job description is — can be physically and emotionally draining as you deal with intimate tasks like bathing and changing, as well as frustrating calls to insurance companies or absent family members. You’ll need an understanding spouse to deal with your own mood swings after work.

For more information you might also find this article from the Washington Post of interest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091607509.html