Monday, April 11, 2011

The High Cost of Divorce

Family break-up is slowly strangling both the Canadian courts systems, and the cohesive life of the country. It has long been my belief that if we cannot get along with those closest to us, there is little hope for other equally important relationships that make up a national fabric?

We can follow the journey from “easier” divorce (no divorce is easy), to relaxed sexual mores and the flight from traditional marriage, that has left us with a legacy of broken lives for parents and children alike. The vitriol and hatred spawned from the deluge of marriage wrecks, easily carries over into the culture and threatens the stability of community.

Adding to the tragedy of divorce, is the outrageous financial costs and the vicious fall-out from the adversarial system of our courts. Georgialee Lang, a respected lawyer in Vancouver, has called for change to this system, which affects so many, to be a major election issue. Read her story at

Given the prevalence of divorce, however much we may decry it, Christians should be in the forefront of providing counselling for reconciliation; but where that is not possible, also for a fair and compatible severance. Alleviating the misery of divorce, like bringing healing to the sick, should be part of the Christian mandate, while continuing to combat sin, the cause of both.

The current law and court system accentuates the suffering of divorcing families. “With lawyer’s fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, many Canadians wander alone into family court like sheep to the slaughter.” Georgialee suggests a procedure most jurisdictions outside Canada have already adopted:

“A move to a presumption of joint custody, in which parents continue to participate in their children’s lives on a level playing field. With a rebuttable presumption of joint custody as the law of the land, a significant group of potential family law litigants could bypass the court system.”

We need to support, pray and vote for those who uphold Christian values—whether or not they have Christian beliefs—if they are in a position to enact them. When we cannot save the marriage, perhaps legal change can lessen the trauma; particularly for the children who are always the victims of divorce.

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