The state of marriage in Vancouver (according to divorce lawyers)

Where does it all go wrong?

February 15, 2016

By Jenni Elliott

We asked two divorce lawyers* and a wedding planner* their thoughts on marriage and love in Vancouver. Here, some of their best answers.

 

Given how expensive life in Vancouver can be, how much money should people spend on their wedding?

Rahul: As little as possible. You may want to save for a house (or a divorce).

Kevin: Save on the wedding, invest in the marriage. Have a basic wedding and an epic honeymoon.

Briar: I think people should spend whatever they (and their families) are 100 percent comfortable spending.

Has there been a shift in the ages of couples you see getting married?

Rahul: People are getting married much later in life now. Thirties are the new twenties.

Briar: In the past few years we have noticed couples getting married closer to thirty than we did a few years ago. I think more couples are intent on establishing themselves and building their careers before they are focusing on having a wedding. As well, the trend of couples paying for their own weddings is on the rise, and so being established or secure financially as a couple is so important.

What about in the ages of couples getting divorced?

Rahul: No, the “key age” is whenever you can’t stand to look at the other person anymore. This could be in your thirties of sixties.

Kevin: Divorce is equal opportunity. Except for the fact that fewer young people are getting married, we’d be seeing young and old wandering into our offices.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in outcomes associated with marriage over the last decade or so?

Rahul: I meet a lot people who are content with divorce as an exit strategy from the marriage. It’s somewhat disheartening.

Kevin: On the legal front, big changes: the new Family Law Act in B.C. has changed who gets what at the end of a marriage substantially. On the personal side, same old, same old: people are still miserable when they get divorced, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.

Rahul Aggarwal is a collaborative lawyer and family law mediator at CleanDivorce

Kevin J. Heinrichs is a barrister and solicitor at Henderson Heinrichs

Briar Johnston is an event planner at Epic Events

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