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Family law: Census results show changes in family dynamics

More than a year ago, 35 million residents of Canada, including those in Ontario, took part in a census of which Statistics Canada recently published the detailed analysis. One of the most significant observations is that there has been a significant shift in the dynamics of family life nationwide. Due to these changes, issues related to family law may also become more diverse, and new challenges may arise for families and the courts.

The most significant change was revealed by the number of single fathers nationwide. Since 2001, the number of single dads who have children living with them has grown with almost 35 per cent, while the number of single mothers rose with less than 5 per cent. This is an indication that the legal system and society are acknowledging the roles of fathers in the lives of their children and their abilities to own those responsibilities.

Reportedly, fathers receive joint custody in more and more cases of families breaking up. However, despite the increase in the numbers of single fathers, they only represent two in every 10 lone-parent situations, with mothers representing eight in 10. The statistics also revealed that there was a slight increase in the number of single parent households overall.

Other interesting facts include the growth in the number of young adults staying in their parental homes rather than moving out. Furthermore, one in five Canadian couples lives in common law relationships. As the family dynamics change, new family law challenges will likely call for adaptations to the legal system. Ontario residents will likely find comfort in the knowledge that any questions can be answered by an experienced family law lawyer who will be aware of the latest legislation.

Source:, "The Canadian household is changing: More single dads, more same-sex parents, fewer young families", Monique Scotti, Aug. 2, 2017

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