Divorce is a growing epidemic in Canada and the United States. It affects both parties involved, being the spouses, and also has a profound affect on children of the marriage. Recently our government has been revising the old divorce act. It was apparent that it was time to revise the act because it did not properly protect the children from being caught in the middle of things. Divorce is defined as follows: to dissolve legally a marriage between; separate (one of a married couple) from the other by divorce. The Canadian constitution allows only the federal government to set divorce law.
The government of Canada has a divorce act, and because it is a federal law, it applies fully and equally in all parts of Canada and to all Canadian citizens. Divorces begin with an application to the court asking it to declare that there has been a breakdown of the marriage. This application must include paragraphs which refer to where and when the marriage took place, who the children were, who should have custody and why, if there is to be support for one of the spouses paid for by the other, and what is to become of the family property. Certified copies of the marriage certificate and any birth certificates are attached.
The claim for support is known as ‘Corollary relief’ and may be for the spouses and / or the children (claims for custody also fall under corollary relief claims).
When corollary relief is requested, a financial statement which sets out your families monthly expenses in detail is required. The divorce act requires the court to verify weather there seems to be any chance of reconciliation between the parties. The court may even ask for a marriage councilor to attempt a reconciliation. The divorce act demands the sole grounds for divorce as breakdown of marriage, and provides for three basic ways of proving it: You and your spouse have been separated for one year. Your spouse has committed adultery.
People from broken families are less likely to have successful marriages. This is because of the psychological implications such families bring into their life. According to available psychological evidence, divorce is a major cause of emotional stress and depression (Clarke-Stewart, & Brentano, 2006). Depression as a psychological impairment has been evidently found to factor much in ...
Your spouse has treated you with intolerable mental or physical cruelty. The most common grounds for divorce is certainly a one year separation for it is the easiest to prove. There is no such thing as a ‘legal separation’ however while living apart you should be protected by a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a domestic agreement between a separated couple outlining the distribution of the property and other obligations to each other.
My question here is, why in the proceedings is there nothing mentioned about the well being of the children that are innocently caught in the middle of their two parents at war with each other. Because it is felt that not enough emphasis is made on the interests of our voiceless children throughout the process of divorce and follow in a divorce the government has proposed a number of recommendations to hopefully improve the divorce act. It’s recommendations include: Replacing the words custody and access to ‘shared parenting’. Improving the act to state that divorced parents are entitled to a close and continuing relationship. Giving children a chance to be heard when custody decisions are being made. A review of the federal Child Support Guidelines to reflect social developments such as greater equality between sexes.
Changes to provincial and territorial family laws so a child’s relationships with grandparents and other relatives aren’t disrupted without good cause. The report was named ‘For the Sake of the Children’. It also recommended both parents receive their children’s school, medical and other records, and that parents wanting to move far away from the child give the other parent ninety days notice. For the Sake of Children makes 48 recommendations that suggest not only the legal changes but also a cultural shift in how parents must share the impact of divorce on children. The changes to the divorce act are currently being drafted by a parliamentary committee in Ottawa. As you can see most of the changes are to ensure that both parents are involved as closely as possible in the lives of children, as opposed to the winner / loser approach and the child as an afterthought.
Each year, over 1 million American children suffer the divorce of their parents; moreover, half of the children born this year to parents who are married will see their parents divorce before they turn 18. Mounting evidence in social science journals demonstrates that the devastating physical, emotional, and financial effects that divorce is having on these children will last well into adulthood ...
In my opinion the children are affected the most in the case of a divorce and me must take special care in assuring that the lives of the children and their relationships with parents and relatives go as undisturbed as possible. If implemented, the proposals would represent one of the largest changes to the thirty-year-old law since Canada adopted the no-fault divorce in 1985. Potentially, it would affect the lives of millions of Canadians. Surveys show that in 1994 and 1995 alone, more than 4700 children were the subject of custody orders when parents at war could not settle their disagreements.
This just doesn’t seem very fair. The children of divorce deserve the love and support of both their parents. Post divorce hostility often causes loss of contact with grandparents and other relatives. This definitely needs to stop. There is no need for these relationships to be in danger. The divorce act has been mentioned several times and has thus far been undefined.
It was created by the government in attempt to simplify the law, reduce the numerous grounds for divorce, and respond to social changes and pressure for reform. The act came into effect on June 1 st, 1986. The term marriage breakdown is the origin of the term no-fault divorce. This allows that neither party is totally at fault or to blame for the divorce, the marriage has simply broken down. Here is something to ponder, what affects are all these broken marriages having on children? Well, among young teenage populations of females, parental divorce has been associated with lower self-esteem, precocious sexual activity, greater ‘delinquent-like’ behavior, a harder time developing gratifying, healthy adult relationships. When the divorce act came into effect, the number of divorces granted by Canadian courts increased quite noticeably.
The Affects of Divorce on Children As a child, there are many things that affect a view, memory, opinion, or attitude. Children have many of their own daily struggles to cope with, as peer pressures are an example. As an adult, we sometimes forget what it is like to be a child dealing with some of the childhood pressures. Many parents do not realize how something like divorce could possibly affect ...
This jump in the rate is due mainly to couples that had been separated for some time and could file for divorce immediately. This being the resultant of the waiting period being dropped for three years down to one. The new law also simplified the process, so some applicants chose to wait for it to come into effect. In today’s National Post there was an article about the proposed changes to the divorce act. It seems that Anne McLellan, the justice minister has decided to postpone the ‘controversial amendments’ to the act for another three years. Now the introduction of legislation is expected in May, 2002.
It seems our politicians are more worried about being re-elected then taking care of the interests of all the children affected by divorce. The government claims to be pushing to do away with old concepts like child ownership but does not fully endorse ‘shared parenting’. The government is not willing to talk about rights, they claim to wish to talk about concepts like shared responsibility. As the number of divorces in Canada increases and our awareness on it’s affects on Canada’s youth, we must come to the realization that something as to be done. In the process of a divorce there is nothing to protect the children. They are simply treated as material objects and fought over like that grand father clock in the living room that both mommy and daddy wish to take out of the marriage for themselves.
The proposed changes to the divorce act seem to be the right answer. They concentrate on keeping family ties as strong as possible, on making the divorce less traumatizing to the children involved. How could someone sleep at night knowing the affect there ‘custody wars’ were having on their own flesh and blood. I know I couldn’t. We all need to take the steps to make this easier for children. To think that there would never have been a problem if when you got married it was to a person who you loved undividingly, your soul mate.
Make the right decisions in your life because you never know what a profound affect they might have on the people nearest and dearest to you.