Alberta is one of the Canadian provinces that has highest divorce rate where as Saskatchewan, another Canadian province, has 27 percent less divorce rate than Alberta divorce rate. In America the divorce rates are higher in red states where the people are supposed to be very conservative and strongly follow traditional American family values. At the same time, divorce rates are fewer in blue states where early marriages are very common and a majority of people have less education and lower socioeconomic status.
The years between 1968 and 2003 saw a rapid rise in the number of Alberta divorce cases. Actually, during this time the divorce rates rose by around 357 per cent. The Divorce Act of 1968 and its amendments in 1985 introduced no-fault divorce in Canada. Under this law the spouses are able to obtain divorce without proving any fault. Henceforth, court can grant divorce only on the basis of marriage breakdown. The spouses are able to establish marriage breakdown very easily if they have been living separately for at least one year.
Statistics proves that Alberta divorce rate rose to the level of 9556 divorces per 100,000 married people. It has to be noted that the rate of divorce is higher among those who have been married for around 4 to 5 years and is relatively low among the couples who are married for more than this period. The divorce rate again declined to 2 per 1000 among the spouses who have reached more than 40 years of married life.
The theory that younger you marry; more likely you are to get divorced is not sufficient to explain the reasons for higher divorce rate in Alberta. The inadequacy of this theory is proven by the fact that people of Saskatchewan also show a tendency to get married at a younger age. At the same time, its divorce rate is not as high as in Alberta. A more reasonable explanation for the higher Alberta divorce rate is that this province has relatively a small number of immigrants than many other provinces of Canada. Many of the immigrants of Canada, particularly those from Asia, will try to avoid divorce as much as possible.
The rapid increase in Alberta divorce rate can also be due to the fact that many couples in Alberta now prefer to live in common-law relationship without entering into a legal marriage. It has been found in a recent study that likelihood for divorce is very high among common law couples and a high percentage of common law relationships end up in divorce. During the 1960s a large proportion of children were born to the parents who had not lived together before their marriage. However, in 1993 around 20% of children were born in common-law households and about one third of children were born to the couples who had lived together before getting married to each other.
Incidentally, some American researchers found a curious fact that has a direct impact on divorce rates. Regions with very high divorce rates also have large concentrations of conservative Christians. This is surprising because conservative Christians are mostly pro-marriage, in their attitudes, although they have the highest incidence of divorces. A lot of people in the red states are worried about this tendency. May be this applies to an Alberta divorce too!
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