While your divorce will be unique to your life, it may also be influenced by divorce trends that you may not even be aware of. Divorce is many things, including a major transition for everyone in your family, an emotional rollercoaster, a financial setback, and a personal reset. Having a better understanding of modern divorce trends can leave you better prepared to navigate the challenges ahead successfully. If you are facing a divorce of your own, one of the most important steps you can take to help protect both your parental and financial rights moving forward is reaching out to an experienced Toronto divorce lawyer early in the process.
Divorce Rates Are Declining
According to a study that delved into 50 years’ worth of divorce statistics and was conducted by Statistics Canada, divorce rates in the nation are declining significantly. We have all heard the over-used refrain that half of all marriages end in divorce, but this is no longer the case. Consider the following:
- The year 2020 saw a sharp 25 percent drop in the number of divorces throughout the country (as compared to 2019), which is the most significant decrease since the Divorce Act of 1968 was enacted.
- The number of divorces in 2020 was lower than any other year since 1973.
- The number of divorces has generally been decreasing across Canada for many years.
- Since about 2005, divorce rates for young adults in Canada have been declining considerably, and the divorce rate for those over the age of 50 has plateaued.
- In 2019, Canada had lower divorce rates than all but one of the G7 countries.
The highest number of divorces recorded in Canada was in 1987, which corresponds with an amendment to the Divorce Act that reduced the separation requirement for no-fault divorces from three years to one. While the decrease in legal activity caused by the pandemic is believed to have played a significant role in 2020’s plummeting divorce rate, the downward direction in divorce numbers overall is confirmed.
The Convenience of Online
One thing that the pandemic has taught us is that we can accomplish a lot more virtually than we ever realized before, and the law has embraced the convenience. It is far more likely for matters such as mediation and even court appearances to happen online in 2022 than it was way back in 2019. This online approach tends to be less costly, less time-consuming, and more convenient than the traditional method of scheduling in-person meetings and court dates, and it is unlikely that we will be going back to the old ways anytime soon.
Gray Divorce Is on the Rise
While divorce rates are declining overall, the divorce numbers for those in the silver hair set have failed to follow suit. In fact, baby boomers who are at least 60 years old have a higher divorce rate than any other age group. Gray divorce refers to those couples who, despite the fact that they have long marriages behind them, are ready to call it quits. While every divorce is challenging, gray divorce can be more so. Although the matter of minor children is generally not an issue, couples going through gray divorces tend to have more significant – and more complicated – finances to address, and the division of marital assets always has the potential to become a serious sticking point.
Social Media Plays a More Prominent Role
Social media has been a big part of our lives for a while now, and the pandemic seems to have increased our undying devotion. We are turning to social media to express ourselves and to share our lives more and more, and as a result, it is taking on a more prominent role in divorce proceedings. Many divorce lawyers advise their clients to simply stay off social media while their divorces are pending. If this approach, however, strikes you as some form of punishment, it is important to remain keenly aware of what you are posting on your social media accounts and to steer clear of anything that has the potential to affect your divorce.
Points to keep in mind include:
- When it comes to social media, privacy is an illusion – regardless of how careful you are with your settings. One screenshot later, and that very private message that you thought was in the vault can make its way into your divorce case as evidence.
- When you post a picture, you share a wealth of information that you may not realize you’re sharing, including hints about the lifestyle you’re living and whom you’re living it with.
- Your posts can be used to help flesh out divorce issues such as your spending habits, any questionable conduct on your part, timelines that demonstrate what happened when, and much more.
Divorce is difficult enough – there is no reason to add fuel to the fire.
Birdnesting Continues to Gain Favor
Birdnesting is the custody term that is commonly used to describe when the children remain in the family home after divorce while the parents do the moving in and out (sometimes this is used as a temporary transition, and sometimes it’s more of a long-term strategy). Some parents stay with friends or relatives when they are not at home with the kids, and others rent or purchase their own place. The fact is that divorce is hard on everyone involved, but it can be hardest on the children, and requiring them to trudge back and forth between both parents’ places does not make the transition any easier.
The pandemic helped to nudge many divorced parents into developing pods that were designed to decrease health concerns, and this also helped to inspire some creative birdnesting arrangements. In fact, many divorced parents report that they’re co-parenting more effectively and are getting along with their children’s other parent better than they did while married.
Co-Parenting Apps Help to Iron out Scheduling Wrinkles
Co-parenting for divorced couples tends to require what amounts to scheduling miracles. As your children grow up, they become involved in more and more activities, and everyone seems to be going at top speed all the time. Keeping up with every task, drop-off, pickup, bake sale, and sleepover that comes your way is not easy, but now, there’s an app for that. Examples include:
- Our Family Wizard – Our Family Wizard does not stop with scheduling assists but, instead, branches out with messaging, expense tracking, and journaling options.
- Kidganizer – Kidganizer is here to help you successfully manage shared custody and incorporates an alert system that keeps both parents apprised of important upcoming appointments and events.
- Custody Connection – Custody Connection allows you and your ex to sync your parenting schedules, thus helping you maintain a shared custody calendar with no need to constantly communicate back and forth on the matter.
Parenting is a challenge, and co-parenting tends to be more so, which makes accepting help where you can find it – such as in the broad range of apps out there – an excellent plan.
Women Tend to Be Happier Post-Divorce
While divorce is widely considered to be harder on women in terms of finances and the overall challenges involved, women’s resilience is evident. In fact, a seminal study conducted at Kingston University in London that spans two decades finds that divorce actually boosts the level of happiness experienced by women. In the past, it was widely accepted that if you were unhappy while married, you were likely to be just as unhappy after divorce, but for women, this may not be the case. The fact that women continue to gain greater financial independence may play a role in their improved ability to bounce back in recent years.
There Are Specific Factors that Can Play a Role
There are certain factors that can play a role in whether or not a couple will divorce. For example, the following factors can slightly decrease the chance that your marriage will end in divorce:
- If you married after the age of 25
- If you have a religious affiliation
- If you had a child after you were married
- If you are in a higher income bracket
- If you have a college education
Further, even the area that you live in may influence whether or not your marriage will end in divorce. For example, divorce rates for the four-year period from 2016 to 2020 were lowest in Nunavut, Newfoundland, and Labrador and were highest in Yukon and Alberta (according to Statistics Canada).
Consult with an Experienced Toronto Divorce Lawyer Today
The accomplished Toronto divorce lawyers at Musson Morneau LLP recognize the gravity of every divorce case and dedicate their impressive practice to skillfully protecting the financial and parental rights of clients like you. We are qualified to help with every aspect of divorce, including the division of your marital estate, child custody, and child support. Your case is important, and our savvy legal team is standing by to help – so please do not wait to contact or call us at 416-849-0491 for more information today.