It is no surprise that today many marriages end in divorce or separation. As marriage rates rise, so does the number of divorce and separation cases. In Canada alone, it is expected that almost one-third of Canadian marriages are dissolved before reaching the first 10 years. In other countries, divorce rates could reach up to 80%.
While divorce or separation is common, it is not a good sight to behold especially to those who have strong family values. Worse, divorce or separation affects not only the couples but also their children, their families, friends, and even others.
Below are some of the reasons why a couple needs to work on their marriage and settle their differences before ending up in divorce.
- Divorce is expensive.
Ever wonder how much divorce in Canada cost? Some people can only speculate on how much a couple would be spending to dissolve their marriage. According to The 2014 Canadian Lawyer Legal Fees Survey, uncontested divorce costs from $920 to $1,739 with an average of $1,169. Contested divorce, however, costs $5,735 to $39,522 with an average of $10,406 depending on the duration of the case. These fees don’t include fees for Child Custody Agreement, Spousal Support Agreement, and Division of Property Agreement.
- Divorce is a long and tiresome process.
A divorce process in Canada can take months or years to be finalized depending on the number of unique factors that can affect the process. A divorce will only be granted if a spouse has been separated from his/her partner for at least one year or has established one of the other grounds for dissolution of the marriage: adultery or physical/emotional cruelty. Once filed, an uncontested divorce may take four to six months, provided the paper work is completed correctly and submitted early. A contested divorce can span out for years before being finalized. The number of claims also determine the length of the process. Claims such as custody or access, support or division of property, can affect the duration of the divorce process. This means more hassles and court appearances.
- Divorce leaves negative impact on the children.
When a couple decides to get a divorce, the most affected individuals are not the parents themselves. It’s the children. Most parents are not aware that children experience stress when they find out their parents “no longer love each other”. It causes fear, anxiety, and thoughts of rebelling against their parents.Children who grew up in broken families are more prone to peer pressure and vices. In a study in 2013 conducted by the University of Toronto to 19,000 Americans, it found out that:
“Men who experienced parental divorce before they turned 18 had 48-per-cent higher odds of ever smoking 100 or more cigarettes than men whose parents did not divorce. Women from divorced families were also at risk, with 39-per-cent higher odds of smoking in comparison to women from intact families.”
Children who have divorced parents are also prone to more serious problems like drug/alcohol addiction, sexual intercourse at early age, aggression, disobedience, misdemeanor, and in worst cases, felony.
- Divorce can lead to child custody battles.
This may not pose as a problem for divorced childless couples but for those who have child/children, this is an ugly process. While most parents would settle for fair Child Custody Agreement, others won’t. Sometimes child custody is disputed. When this happens, child custody is given to only one parent, the parent with the means and fit to care for the child/children. This means that a child will experience the pain of growing up apart from his/her father/mother. The parent who lost child custody also experiences the same pain.
- Divorce can lead to division of property.
In Canada, laws may vary from one province or territory to another. However, division of assets after dissolution of marriage is present in the laws of these provinces or territory. Unless a prenuptial agreement was established, the divorced spouses are forced to equally share the value of the property acquired during their marriage. This becomes a disadvantage to the person who worked more or spent more in acquiring the assets.
- Divorce creates more feuds.
Divorce becomes uglier when the families and friends of each of the spouse get involved. When families or friends take side and hurl blame, the situation escalates to a point when differences between the couples can no longer be resolved. This is true among people with strong attachment to their family or friends. Family members or friends may drag other individuals into the dispute especially when the divorce was cause by infidelity.
- Divorce causes emotional problems.
The emotional effect of divorce varies from one individual to another. While some divorced couples move on easily, others dwell on the trauma that divorce has brought them. This makes them angry, emotionally unstable, irritable, anxious, or annoying. This makes them lose self-esteem and self-respect.
- Divorce leaves you vulnerable to opportunist.
While divorce causes a lot of defensive emotional effects like distrust, it can also result to the opposite. Some divorced individuals feel unloved and develop a need for affection from just about anybody who shows interest in them. Their low self-esteem make them disregard their self-worth. As a way of coping up with the grief of an unsuccessful marriage, they would easily believe any promise of companionship in their need to be loved. This allows plotters and gold-diggers to move in and take advantage of the lack of self-esteem of a divorced individual.
- Finding a new partner may be riskier than keeping your current one.
Why? The answer is simple: you know your current partner better than the new one considering the time you spent with your spouse. Dating a new partner, especially someone you’ve just met, increases your risk of introducing someone worse than your current partner. It also increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Unless your new partner presents you with his/her latest medical certificate proving he/she is free from STD, there’s no other way to know the truth except having faith it is true or taking the plunge and just go for it. Introducing a new partner to your family will also create a higher risk of abuse to your children.
- Communication is the key.
Today, many couples forget the importance of communication in their marriage. More love for work, too much time spent on the internet, social media, gadgets, and stress are some of the contributing factors that make communication among married couples almost impossible. Poor marriage communication results to frustration, mistrust, conflict of interest, tension, and infidelity. A good marriage comes from better understanding of each others feelings, beliefs, and needs. This can only be achieved through communication. Proper marriage communication can help you save your marriage and guide it to the right direction.
Getting a divorce is a lot more costly, financially and emotionally, than saving a marriage. A lot of lives will be affected by this single process and an even higher price will be paid by the children who have nothing to do with it. Divorce is not a solution but a temporary escape from the pain of a troubled marriage. The real solution lies in the ability to respect, to understand, and to communicate with ones partner.
Do everything to save your marriage before deciding to take the bigger risk of divorce. Seek professional help from a trained and certified marriage counselor who will help you and your partner resolve your differences and get you right back on track to a happy marriage.
Rick Saruna of Body and Mind Natural Health in Windsor, Ontario is a leading expert in marriage counseling, relationship issues, and child counseling.
You can call the office at 519-948-0078. Body and Mind in Windsor, Ontario.