Divorce and Illness

“In sickness and in health.” Your wedding vows are a major commitment, yet over a third of marriages end in divorce due to serious illness. Based on a 2015 U.S. study of 2,701 marriages, couples over 50 divorce more often when cancer, heart conditions, lung disease or a stroke occur. Divorce was six times more likely if the wife was sick.

Two working couple

What Ever Happened to Love?

The stresses of being ill can be overwhelming. Three-quarters of Canadian couples already argue over money (2019 WealthBar.com survey). In fact, money — not DIY projects, a close second — is the major cause of arguments among mature couples. Illness magnifies everything. 

The Many Faces of Chronic Illness

Most couples worry they or their partner may get dementia or Alzheimer Disease when they age. They wonder how they will cope and rightly so. Over 432,000 Canadians (two-thirds women) suffer from this debilitating illness. But chronic disease affects more than baby boomers. Close to half of Canadians over 20 have high blood pressure (25%), arthritic or mental health problems (12-14%) or diabetes or respiratory conditions (10-11%).

The High Cost of Your Health

Being sick is expensive. Dental services, glasses and over the counter drugs can consume between five and 14 per cent of your after-tax income. No wonder 25 per cent of Canadian seniors worry they can’t afford long-term care. 

Better Health, Better Marriage

What can you do now to save money and possibly your marriage? You can buy private insurer extended health benefits, if you don’t have them already. You can eat healthier: over 62 per cent of Canadians are overweight. You can exercise to reduce your risk of sickness or early death. Mature couples spend up to 10 hours a day sitting, watching TV, talking on the phone or reading.  

A separated couple

If All Else Fails

You may have done everything you can to save your marriage and health. But your spouse or partner still wants to leave. Axess Law’s family law lawyers can help. Mediation is an option. Brief time apart can also allow you to re-evaluate your marriage. If all else fails, our family law lawyers can advise you on:

  • drafting separation agreements
  • meeting prenuptial commitments
  • dividing property
  • getting child or spousal support
  • filing for divorce
  • or representing yourself in court.

Do You Have to Support a Sick Ex-spouse?

That familiar refrain “what’s mine is yours” is true. Up to half of everything you own, with some exceptions, are shared assets. Expect spousal support to last six months to a year for every year of marriage or cohabitation (if you lived common law for at least three years). When you are in a long-term relationship, it could last for life. What will it cost? Say you make $75,000 a year and your partner makes $25,000. Based on a 10-year marriage, that could cost you about $834 a month. Our family law lawyers calculate the cost and explain how alimony works.

Book a Consultation Today

Axess Law’s family law lawyers are available 7 days a week, by phone, email or video call to discuss your options. Once our offices reopen, you can arrange to drop by at a time convenient for you. Call 1-647-479-0118 for an appointment or use our online booking form. Our family law lawyers are experienced and affordable.