“Breaking up is hard to do”- Neil Sedaka

“Breaking up is hard to do”- Neil Sedaka

In 1960, Neil Sedaka released the song, “Breaking up is hard to do”. This million seller, which was co-written earlier with Howard Greenfield in the 1950’s, speaks about a young person’s yearning for enduring love.  This desire for love and caring is a very common theme in most modern songs that we listen to everyday.

There are times in marriage and common-law relationships when breaking up does happen, regardless of how many love songs are written and performed.  Separation and divorce have been a part of every society for thousands of years. For example, divorce is first referenced in the book of Deuteronomy.  In 1410 BC, Moses, the great law giver, had to find a way to accommodate the reality that marriages did not always work out (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).  In Canada, it is commonly stated that the divorce rate is approximately 50%.  Fortunately, this number seems to be a myth.   According to website, Saskatoon Divorce, Child Custody and Family Lawyer, (2023), the divorce rate in Canada is approximately 38%.  It is important to note that only married people can get divorced.  Those who live common-law, are not included in the divorce statistics.  However, according to Statistics Canada, the separation rate among common-law couples is significantly higher than among those who are married.         

In the book, “Surviving Your Divorce, A Guide to Canadian Family Law”, the author, Michael G. Cochrane, L.L.B., says that divorce in Canada, is unfortunately, a long and expensive process.  Cochrane goes on to state that there is only one ground for divorce in Canada and that is “marriage breakdown.” 

The Divorce Act set out three circumstances in which marriage will be considered to have broken down:

  1. The spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the divorce proceeding.
  2. One of the spouses has committed adultery.
  3. One of the spouses has subjected the other to intolerable physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable their continued cohabitation. (Michael Cochrane L.L.B., Surviving Your Divorce, A Guide to Canadian Family Law, LegalIntel, 2015, pg. 68)

Once it has been determined that the marriage has indeed broken down, the concept of “no fault” then goes into effect.  This concept will be the subject of my next blog.

Al Dyck

CFP – Certified Financial Planner

CHDS – Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist