Family law in Canada: Genetics may play a part in divorce

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Thursday, February 8, 2018.

Couples get divorced for many reasons — primarily because there’s dissension in their marriages that can’t be ironed out. What most citizens in Canada may not know, however, is that divorce — which comes under family law in each province — may actually¬†be linked to genetics. Divorce seems to run in families. Studies show that the genes that make up certain personality traits are the same ones that contribute to couples divorcing.

Behaviour that is displeasing like neuroticism, anxiety or worrying can wear on those partnerships, causing them to break down. Scientists say this can be generational behaviour. By studying adoptive children, scientists found that there is more of a correlation between biology and divorce than the way in which children were raised.

Of course, genetics isn’t the only reason for divorce. Environment does play a part, to a degree, researchers say. The strengths or weaknesses of each individual in a marriage could also be contributing factors. Of the 20,000 people studied who came from divorced families, 46 per cent of them experienced divorce in their relationships as well.

If the decision to divorce is on the horizon, getting legal counsel may help. Not only might an understanding family law lawyer be able answer questions pertaining to the legalities of separation and divorce, he or she may be able to put clients in touch with other professionals in Canada who might be able to help, such as family or couples’ counsellors. There is strength in being informed about the potential causes of divorce and separation.

Source:, “Genetics is a big reason divorce runs in families“, Bob McDonald, Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018

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