The Canadian Divorce Act: The Practicality of an Age-Old Document in Modern Day Society

Essay by Rachel123High School, 11th gradeA, January 2006

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In the past ten years, the Canadian government has created and passed laws and regulations that would not have been predicted by the general public only a couple of decades ago. Gay people can now marry, pot was temporarily decriminalized, and obesity has been declared an epidemic. Despite all of this, the Canadian Divorce Act has remained one of the few documents that is still reflective of modern societal values and continues to be a valuable resource for individuals seeking a divorce. The following four areas of divorce law clearly demonstrate how the application of the Divorce Act 1985 is beneficial to both spouses; child custody, the division of assets, child and spousal support, and the grounds for divorce.

The Divorce Act allows a couple to divorce as long as they are able to prove that there was a marriage breakdown. A marriage breakdown can be demonstrated through either a one-year separation period, one spouse committing adultery, or one spouse being physically or mentally cruel to the other .

The one-year separation period allows couples to re-examine their feelings toward each other, without being officially divorced. During this time, many couples decide to remain married. If this separation period was not mandatory, couples would have to go through the trouble of divorcing and remarrying. Since the Divorce Act 1985 was put into effect, and redefined what constituted a marriage breakdown, divorce rates have steadily declined .

Child custody is one of the major issues a couple faces when getting a divorce. Couples are able to make their own child custody arrangements as long as both parties are in agreement. However, if they are unable to agree, a judge will make this decision . In the past, custody was typically rewarded to the mother on the basis of the tender...