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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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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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Helping an Employee Through Divorce

Breakups can take financial toll on employers, emotional toll on colleagues

By Deborah Moskovitch

I wrote this article for the HR Reporter which appeared in the January 30, 2012 edition.

Divorce or the breakdown of a relationship is an extremely emotional process. People are often confused, filled with fear and unsure of how to navigate the process. Their world is turned upside down, triggering unsettling and distressful emotions. The effects of the emotional distress in the workplace can be devastating.

Close to 50 per cent of marriages in North America end in divorce. The divorce rate rises to a staggering 60 per cent and higher for subsequent divorces by these same individuals. Clearly, we need to employ strategies that will get everyone, including those caught in the middle — often the children — off the “divorce-go-round” and on to a better life. We need to encourage healthy new beginnings, even when divorce looks like an end.

On a classic rating scale of stressful life events, divorce consistently ranks number two — second only to the death of a spouse or child. People often feel overburdened and lack confidence so it’s not surprising many buckle under the pressure.

Divorce undoubtedly reduces a worker’s productivity. Research by Integrated Organizational Development in Waynesville, N.C., pegged the cost per worker going through a divorce at about $8,300, assuming an average wage of $19.50 per hour and a 50 per cent to 75 per cent drop in productivity. It also includes days missed as the worker takes time off to deal with the legal, financial and psychological issues related to divorce.

For the full article, click on the link:

HR Reporter_Helping an employee through divorce – Moskovitch copy copy

If you would like more information about workplace divorce support in the workplace click here – for information how The Smart Divorce can help.