Parental breakup affects more children
Changing Family Structures
Friday, January 8, 1999
Edited by Philip Jackman
About 16 per cent of Canadian children have seen their parents separate or divorce, a figure that has tripled in the past 20 years.
The Canadian Council on Social Development reports that parents are now splitting up when their children are younger. In 87 per cent of cases, children under 12 whose parents break up remain with their mothers. Seven per cent stay with their fathers and 6 per cent live in joint-custody arrangements.
If there's no joint custody, one-third of children see their other parent each week while 23 per cent see the other parent every two weeks or once a month. For the remainder, visits are less frequent.
About three-quarters of children whose parents made out-of-court arrangements for child support receive regular payments. However, about half the children with court-ordered support receive payments.
Marriages, meanwhile, still outnumber divorces. In 1996, 158,680 couples were married in Canada and 71,528 were divorced. Couples in Prince Edward Island (with 6.7 marriages per 1,000 population) were most likely to tie the knot in 1996, while people in the Northwest Territories (3.1 nuptials per 1,000 people) were least likely to walk down the aisle.
Changing Family Structures 1981 1996 Married couples without children 28.1% 28.6% Married couples with children 55.0 45.1 Lone-parent families 11.5 14.5 Common-law couples without children 3.7 6.2 Common-law couples with children 1.9 5.5
Source: Statistics Canada
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