Divorces granted in Canada have dropped sharply, new Statistics Canada report shows

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TORONTO — Statistics Canada says the number of divorces granted in 2020 was the lowest seen since 1973, although barriers to accessing court services during the pandemic likely contributed to the decline.

The agency says there were 42,933 divorces granted in 2020, a “sharp decrease” from 56,937 divorces recorded a year earlier.

It notes that lockdowns in 2020 due to COVID-19 slowed court proceedings and led to the adjournment of non-urgent cases, factors that were likely important drivers of the relatively low number of divorces.

Statistics Canada also says growing “selectivity of marriage” may have contributed to the decrease in divorces.

It says younger people are opting for common-law unions that do not require a divorce to be terminated.

For couples who do choose divorce, the agency says it is becoming more likely that the decision is mutual – almost one-third of divorces are now filed jointly by both spouses.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which is funding a project by Carleton University’s School of Journalism and The Canadian Press.

Gabby Calugay-Casuga, The Canadian Press

 

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