OTTAWA, December 2, 2002 ( – Canadian statistics on divorces in the year 2000 indicate that the risk of divorce increases with the duration of marriage peaking after the fourth year of marriage.  Figures released today by Statistics Canada indicate that a total of 71,144 couples had a divorce finalized in 2000, up a marginal 0.3% from 1999, and up 3.0% from 1998.  After the first anniversary, the divorce rate was 5.1 per 1,000 marriages. This increased to 17.0 divorces after the second anniversary, 23.6 divorces after the third, up to the peak of 25.5 after the fourth anniversary. The risk of divorce decreased slowly for each additional year of marriage after the fourth. The majority (60%) of divorces in 1999 and 2000 were of couples married for less than 15 years.  The proportion of marriages expected to end in divorce by the 30th wedding anniversary increased slightly, to 37.3% in 1999 and to 37.7% in 2000, the all-time high being 50.6% in 1987.

Of the 37,000 dependents for whom custody was determined through divorce proceedings in 2000, sole custody was awarded to the mother in 53.5%, to the husband in 9.1%, and joint custody in 37.2% of cases.  See the StatsCan report at:


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