4 in 10 1st marriages end in divorce: report

The traditional definition of family is changing in Canada, with four in 10 first marriages ending in divorce, according to a new study.

For the first time in Canadian history, there are more unmarried people than legally married people age 15 and over in this country, says the study from the Vanier Institute of the Family released Monday in Ottawa.

It was based on data from the 2006 census, and some of the information has been reported in the years since.

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“Marriage is still a vitally important part of the experience of families in the fabric of our country and most young people do aspire to marriage,” said Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Vanier Institute, adding that even people who have divorced or separated will end up partnering up again.

“We just have to come to grips with the diversity that actually is within our experience. Then we need to find ways to address and take on the challenges that face families, but do it in an inclusive way that makes sense for the reality and not some ideal notion of what a family is or ought to be.”

Written by CBC News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Divorce Rates Threaten Marriage More Than a DOMA Repeal

The Supreme Court deliberates on whether the Defense of Marriage Act holds constitutionally, the nation focuses on the constitutional implications of gay marriages. Yet even without the addition of same-gender marriage, the social institution of traditional marriage continues to change and evolve with culture and time. As a result of the dramatic culture shifts of the past few decades, America continues to face a devaluation of traditional marriage not at the hands of the gay and lesbian community, but rather because of a phenomenally high divorce rate.
The American divorce rate continues to be above 50%. First marriages experience a success rate of 40-50% and subsequent marriage success rates offer diminishing returns.
Marriage offers individuals a high happiness quotient and provides a strong backbone for America’s families. As a social institution, it continues to provide strong infrastructure for those who are able to commit to and maintain their vows. However, social mores change. Increases in premarital cohabitation and sex, as well as the cultural acceptance of divorce, contribute to a growing marriage crisis in this country.

Written by Sara Stringer. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces

The family is not a static institution. In recent decades, marriage rates have fallen, divorce rates have risen, and the defining characteristics of mar- riage have changed. The economic approach to the family seeks to explain these trends by reference to models that can also explain how and why families form. Gary Becker’s (1981) Treatise on the Family proposed a theory based on “production complementarities,” in which husband and wife specialize in the market and domestic spheres, respectively. Production complementarities also arise in the production and rearing of one’s own children. However, production complementarities—at least as initially described—are decreasingly central to mod- ern family life. Increased longevity and declining fertility mean that most of one’s adult life is spent without one’s own children in the household. Also, the rise in marital formation at older ages, including remarriage, means that many families form with no intention of producing children. Moreover, increases in female labor force participation suggest that household specialization has either declined or, at least taken on a different meaning.
These changes have come about as what is produced in the home has been dramatically altered both by the emergence of labor-saving technology in the home and by the development of service industries that allow much of what was once provided by specialized homemakers to be purchased in the market. The availability of birth control and abortion has affected the potential consequences of sex both in and out of marriage, while changes in divorce laws have altered the terms of the marital bargain. These forces also have important feedback effects, changing the pool of marriageable singles across the age distribution, thereby affecting search, marriage, remarriage, and the extent of “churning” in the marriage market.

Written by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. To read the full article, click here.