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Top 10 Reasons for Divorce in Canada

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While exchanging wedding vows, couples promise to stay with each other till death. They figure out how to live happily together, even though they might have opposite personalities and interests.

However, not all couples wind up creating the perfect picture in their lives. Many issues emerge over time, leading them to the court’s door to get a divorce. And in Canada, the number of divorced people is alarmingly high.

According to Statista, around 2.78 million people obtained divorces in 2022. The most common reasons for divorce in Canada are monetary issues, adultery, followed by cruelty, or domestic violence.

Why do Couples Divorce?

There are some characteristics in a spouse or circumstances—the divorce causes—that may lead partners to divorce. When you can no longer deal with your relationship, divorce may be the best solution.

When spouses feel they have given everything they have to their relationship, they may decide that it is time to dissolve their marriage, though the cost of divorce can be higher than you expected.

Do you believe this situation may happen to you?

It’s fairly unusual for couples to argue and reconcile until they finally split apart. Don’t forget about your relationship problems. You never know; your relationship may be heading down the same rough path!

What Percentage of Marriages End in Divorce?

Although the number of marriages that end in divorce appears to be modest, the fact is that around 50% of marriages end in divorce.

Not only that, but statistics show that most couples divorce within the first seven years of marriage. So, what year of marriage is the most common for divorce?

As a couple approaches their tenth anniversary, marital satisfaction is considered to rise.

You may not be wrong if you believe you know why people divorce or how many marriages end in divorce, but there are certain causes for divorce that you could never have predicted.

What are the Top 10 Reasons for Divorce in Canada?

During the last few decades, the top reasons for divorce in Canada have changed multiple times. There is no doubt that these reasons vary because one couple may take the decision drastically due to adultery or sometimes domestic violence.

And on the other hand, these include lack of money, ongoing arguments, lack of affection, and domestic violence.

We will look at each factor separately to understand why so many marriages end in divorce.

Here are the top 10 leading reasons Canadians apply for divorce:

1. Financial Issue

Are you wondering what the number-one reason for divorce is? Well, in Canada, that should be money. Around 68% of Canadians think that the conflict over money or any property-related issue will be the leading cause of divorce.

2. Infidelity

The second most common reason why a seemingly perfect marriage can end is having an extramarital affair. The court will consider the affair as infidelity only if the accused partner has a sexual relationship with their lover.

3. Domestic Violence

The court often takes quick action for the person who filed the divorce case on the grounds of domestic violence. Violent behavior, physical abuse, sexual abuse, damage to property, and threatening or controlling behavior for a long time are some grounds an individual may file for divorce.

4. Psychological Abuse 

A marriage may fall apart if one spouse is not respectful to the other person. Insulting or criticizing, yelling, controlling the right to perform cultural or religious actions, and dominating behavior are the causes of divorce under psychological abuse.

5. Lack of Affection

Another leading cause of divorce in Canada is the lack of love or affection couples had in the early days of a wedding or relationship. This may happen gradually over a longer period.

The court considers this one of the grounds for divorce because it is better to end or leave a toxic marriage than to drag it further for no reason.

6. Less focus on an intimate relationship

A difference in sexual appetite or interest is one of the popular reasons for divorce. It causes dissatisfaction and arguments, and the marriage breaks down because of a lack of intimacy.

7. Differences in Personality

Every household is different, as is the upbringing of their parents. Instead of being respectful of their values, religion, and political views, arguments may follow, and it can be a source of resentment and detachment in the relationship.

8. Non-stop Conflict

Most of the time, in marriages, people have certain expectations from each other. But the issue arises when expectations get higher. Fighting over things without any intention of resolution and not having the will to work on them together are grounds for people to get divorced.

9. Married at a Young Age

When young adults get married without a long-term commitment, they start getting bored with each other after noticing the drawbacks of their decision. So, they file for divorce, stating their marriage was a wrong decision and they want to move on with a new life.

10. Addiction

Any uncontrollable addiction, for example, drugs, gambling, medications, or alcohol, alters an average person’s behavioral pattern. They do not act like before, and the stress of living with an addicted person is unbearable for any spouse.

And the situation gets worse when the other person is not willing to receive treatment. Consequently, a divorce is inevitable.

What is the Leading Cause of Divorce in Canada?

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to divorce in Canada, and it’s difficult to pinpoint any one specific cause as the leading factor. However, some common themes have been identified in the research on why divorce is so common.

One common reason people get divorced is communication breakdown. This can include issues such as lack of communication, misunderstandings, and disagreements that escalate into arguments. When couples cannot effectively communicate with one another, it can create a cycle of negativity that can eventually lead to the breakdown of the marriage.

Another common factor is financial stress. Financial strain can put a significant amount of pressure on a marriage, particularly when couples have different views on money management or when they face unexpected expenses. Financial difficulties can also lead to disagreements and resentment, which can further strain the relationship.

“Money is estimated to be the primary cause of divorce, resulting in over 68% of all separations.”

Infidelity is another common factor that can contribute to divorce. When one or both partners engage in extramarital affairs, it can cause a significant breach of trust that can be difficult to repair. Infidelity can also lead to feelings of anger, betrayal, and jealousy, which can create a toxic environment in the relationship.

Other factors that can contribute to divorce include substance abuse, domestic violence, and incompatibility. In some cases, couples may simply grow apart over time or may find that they have different goals and priorities that make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship.

Ultimately, the reasons for divorce are complex and varied, and it’s important to remember that every situation is unique.

While there may be common themes as to why marriages fail in Canada, it’s important to approach each case with empathy and understanding to support couples through this difficult process.


Factors influencing the decision to divorce may differ, but the biggest reason for divorce in Canada is conflicts or arguments about money or property-related issues.

However, if you are dealing with similar problems, you should first consider consulting with a family or divorce lawyer who has enough experience in these cases.

A lawyer may help you settle the issue, reach a conclusion, and also assist during the divorce proceedings if both you and your spouse have consent.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are the answers to the common questions you may have in mind.

What is the Main Reason for Divorce in Canada?

There can be three main reasons for divorcing in Canada. They can be adultery, fighting over money or property, or cruelty and violence in the household. Separation for two years with or without consent is also one of the grounds people file for divorce in Canada.

Do You Need a Reason to Divorce in Canada?

To file a divorce in Canada, you do not need a ground. If you think your marriage is not the same as before and there are no reasons left for you to stay together, you can take legal action to end your marriage.

What is the Number 1 Reason for Divorce?

Around 75% of people decide on divorce due to lack of commitment, followed by the second most common issue, infidelity, which is about 59.6%.

What Grounds Can I File for Divorce?

You can file for divorce if you think your marriage is breaking down. Or you can consider the top 10 reasons we have mentioned in this article: money issues, debt, domestic violence, constant conflict, and little or no communication.

What is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Canada?

The wife is entitled to spousal support in divorce in Canada. The husband usually provides alimony or maintenance money every month or a lump sum. Financial support can vary because of children, debt, or many other factors. Having a skilled divorce lawyer is necessary to claim the spousal support you deserve.

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