Family matters: New relationships after separation or divorce

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Release date: May 15, 2019
Family matters: New relationships after separation or divorce
Description: Family matters: New relationships after separation or divorce

Family matters: New relationships after separation or divorce

In 2017, of the 11 million people aged 35 to 64 years old in a coupleFootnote 1, 1 in 4 were currently in their second or subsequent marriage or common-law relationship.

Percentage in a second or subsequent union among persons in couple, by year:
  2006 2017
Total 23% 26%
Men 23% 26%
Women 22% 25%

Average time separated or divorced before remarrying or repartnering: 5 years

  • Women: 4.8 years
  • Men: 4.5 years

Those born in Canada and residents of Quebec were most likely to form second or subsequent unions.

Percentage in a second or subsequent union among all persons in couples, by place of birth:
  Percent
Canadian born 31%
Foreign born 13%
Percentage in a second or subsequent union among all persons in couples, by place of residence:
  Percent
Quebec 36%
British Columbia 28%
Atlantic Canada 27%
Prairie provinces 25%
Ontario 19%

What does a second or subsequent union look like?

Among those who were currently remarried or repartnered:

  • 36% were now in a common-law union.
  • 46% were now in a marriage that had started as a common-law union.
  • 18% were now in a marriage that had not started as a common-law union.
  • Half had been in a couple with their current partner or spouse for 12 years or more.
  • 31% of those in a common-law union and 56% of those married had children with their current partner or spouse.

Source: General Social Survey (Families), 2006 and 2017.

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