You are in an archived section of the AIFS website. Archived publications may be of interest for historical reasons. Because of their age, they may not reflect current research data or AIFS' current research methodologies.

Family Matters No. 46 - April 1997

Gender inequality and divorce laws: A Canadian perspective

Maureen Baker

Abstract

Australia and Canada (except French Canada) have experienced similar legal backgrounds and similar divorce controversies, but several policy choices have differed. In this article the author highlights a number of legal reforms that have occurred in Canada and in Australia, arguing that the lingering controversies resulting from divorce reform cannot only be resolved through changes to family law. They require wide changes in social and economic policies and public attitudes. Laws relating to divorce and custody in both Canada and Australia have been inconsistent and misleading for the judiciary and the public. Although the law is written as gender neutral and designed to ensure the equal division of matrimonial property, in reality gender remains a key variable in divorce outcomes.

Australia and Canada (except French Canada) have experienced similar legal backgrounds and similar divorce controversies, but several policy choices have differed. In this article the author highlights a number of legal reforms that have occurred in Canada and in Australia, arguing that the lingering controversies resulting from divorce reform cannot only be resolved through changes to family law. They require wide changes in social and economic policies and public attitudes. Laws relating to divorce and custody in both Canada and Australia have been inconsistent and misleading for the judiciary and the public. Although the law is written as gender neutral and designed to ensure the equal division of matrimonial property, in reality gender remains a key variable in divorce outcomes.

You are in an archived section of the Australian Institute of Family Studies website. Articles in this issue of Family Matters are only available as PDF documents and do not meet the latest web accessibility standards. If you are unable to access any of the articles in this issue of Family Matters please contact us and we will endeavour to provide the article/s you need in a format that you can use.