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Lorne MacLean, QC

Top 5 Reasons For Divorce. At MacLean Law we know a substantial percentage of marriages end up in divorce. So what are the: Top 5 Reasons For Divorce? In today’s blog, Peter Graburn senior Calgary family lawyer takes you through the most common reasons for married couples separating. To understand our approach in resolving matters so you can move forward successfully after divorce click here

Top 5 Reasons For Divorce –  Call 1 877 602 9900

Divorce (like marriage) is a serious decision, not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly.  About 40% of marriages in Canada end in divorce, and marriage breakdown can have significant effects on the ex-spouses and their families, particularly children. So why do people get divorced? While every marriage/divorce is different, the top 5 reasons people give for getting divorced are:

Money – in a recent study, 68% of respondents said fighting over money was their top reason for getting divorced;

Infidelity – understandably, particularly when tied to other underlying reasons such as anger, resentment, fundamental differences and growing apart;

Falling out of Love – sadly, often associated with couples focussing on their busy lives (work, children, community, etc.) rather than working on maintaining a healthy, loving relationship with their spouse;

Lack of Compatibility – over time spouses may find they are not aligned on some of the basics of family life (children, jobs, morals, etc.) sometimes resulting in resentment, frustration, and detachment;

Domestic Abuse – regrettably, domestic abuse is sometimes a reason for divorce in Canada, with over 40,000 arrests for domestic violence in Canada every year.

Does It Matter Whose Fault The Divorce Is? Call 1 877 602 9900

But are these the reasons Courts look at when deciding whether to grant spouses a divorce? – No.  In Canada, under the federal Divorce Act, there is only one ground for getting divorced – the breakdown of the marriage – but this can be proven by three different circumstances (reasons), specifically:

 ONE YEAR SEPARATION (with the intention of ending the marriage relationship) – often called “no-fault” divorce, this is the most common ground for getting a divorce – in Alberta, more than 90% of marriages are terminated on this ground. There are three main points to keep in mind when considering this ground for divorce:

● spouses do not have to wait a year from separation to commence a divorce application, only that a Court cannot grant the divorce for one year from the date of separation;

● spouses do not have to be living in separate houses for a year before the divorce can be granted – spouses may be “living separate under one roof” if it can be shown they do not communicate or share a bedroom, meals, household chores, finances, social and recreational activities, etc. – sexual relations (or lack thereof) is only one of many factors to determine whether spouses are living separate and apart under one roof, and;

● living together again as a couple (ie. reconciliation) for a period of less than 90 days does not affect the 1-year separation period;

ADULTERY (“cheating”, provided it was not accepted or forgiven by the other spouse) – this is probably the next most common ground for applying for a divorce. Again, there are five main points to keep in mind when considering this ground for divorce:

● the cheating must involve an actual sexual relationship – “Internet Affairs” are not sufficient;

● only one act of adultery is necessary – it does not matter how long the cheating went on; 

● only the spouse who was cheated on can claim this as a ground for divorce, not the “Cheater”;

● the adultery must be provable – mere suspicion of adultery is not sufficient, and;

● the adultery must have occurred before commencing the divorce, not after;

MENTAL OR PHYSICAL CRUELTY (that has made living together impossible or intolerable) – this is hopefully the last ground for applying for a divorce, but obviously the most unpleasant and difficult. Mental cruelty may include constant verbal abuse (ie. harassment and humiliation, threats and insults), drunkenness or excessive drug use; physical cruelty may include beating, hurting or sexually abusing the spouse. Either spouse (husband or wife) may claim they were subject to mental or physical cruelty.

Top 5 Reasons For Divorce Call 1 877 602 9900

The top 5 reasons for divorce lead to financial and child parenting consequences that need to be sorted out. Our top 5 reasons for divorce and separation lawyers handle separations child custody, child and spousal support and matrimonial property disputes. For more interesting analysis on why people divorce across North America here is a good article to read.

Generally, most spouses in Alberta and Canada apply for a divorce on the ground of 1-year separation – it is often the fastest, cheapest and least contentious ground to prove, being a “no-fault” divorce.  Proceeding on either of the grounds of adultery or mental or physical cruelty (or “fault-based” divorce) can be a lengthy, adversarial and costly process, often taking more than the one year to satisfy the “no-fault” separation ground.

Calgary Divorce Grounds Lawyers discuss and explain with their Clients the many practical and legal reasons for wanting and obtaining a divorce in Alberta, and assist their Clients in preparing the necessary documents and (sometimes) arguing the resulting Court Application made necessary by following the more adversarial grounds for divorce.

If you have more questions about the Top 5 Reasons For Divorce, call us right away toll-free at 1 877 602 9900