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Unhelpful view of marriage needlessly complicates Alberta divorce

Sometimes, what research studies leave out is more revealing than what is being studied. There is nothing wrong with promoting the married state as a source of happiness. Increasing rates of divorce, however, in Alberta as elsewhere, suggest that marketing the married lifestyle over and above other lifestyle choices is unhelpful, and even pernicious.

Spouses who contemplate dissolving their marriage are probably already anticipating long-held and unpleasant prejudices against doing so. Encountering yet another study that appears to claim that married life provides higher levels of well-being and happiness must exacerbate an already agonized state of mind. Assumptions about happiness -- what it is, what promotes it  and how long it lasts -- is the first of many questions begged by such research.

The conclusions reached by a recent Canadian analysis seem to neglect certain realities. For example, while the process of divorce can be challenging and even painful, the expected outcome is to achieve a renewal of happiness. Family law lawyers might bear witness to the simple truth of this. Indeed, their vast and varied experience of accompanying clients along the pathway to a new and reconfigured lifestyle could help dispel such demoralizing negativity.

Married couples may stay married for myriad reasons, one of which may be perceived contentment. Similarly, a spouse who opts for divorce is actively seeking contentment outside the framework of formal partnership. The knowledge of an Alberta family law lawyer concerning realities and myths could very well be one of the most helpful insights in guiding a client toward a new and unique self-fulfillment. 

Source:, "Is marriage the key to long-term happiness?", Hannah Nichols, Accessed on Feb. 7, 2018

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