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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 1, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta May 1, 1973 IETHBRIDGE HERAIO 3 Why do Lethbridge couples cut their wedding bonds? Additional stories on Pages I. 7 and 10 There was a wedding every 13 hours last year in Lethbndge and an application for di- vorce every 36 hours. Lethbndge has a much higher rate of divorces filed than the average of the rest of the prov- ince, the rest cf Canada, even the average of the United States. In 1H72. 244 people filed for divorce in city for a 5 3 per population rate. Ci-nada had 42.833 re'iden's file far a rale of 2.0 in 1972 and Alber'a's rate of 3 2 was the re- sult of people filing for divorce In comparison the highest rate in the history of the U.S., as of ihe end of 1971, was 3.7. The 1972 Loth-bridge rale is an increase from the 1971 rate of 4 5 based on the 201 actions started in the Letbbridge judi- cial district. The 50 applications for di- wce in the first 2% montiis of 1973 indicate this city will con- inue with its present high rate. Constant It is interesting to note that In the first three months of 1973, the divorce rate remains constant while the wedding rale is easing. To the end of March, there've been 87 marriage licenses in- sued in the Lethbridge vicinity, that's an average of a mar- riage cry 25 hotirh. If (lie present rate COP'i PUSS throughout 1973 only half as many cauples will take the mat- rimonial vows this year as com- pared to 1372. SlaUstics obtained by h e Iloraid from the central di- vorce registrar in Ottawa also show Alberta as the leader among provinces in divorces filed per 1.000 residents. British Columbia is second at 3.2 and Ontario third with 2.0. City counsellors and social workers appear to be aware of the family problems associated. That's why organizations like Big Brothers are coming into being. Big Brothers offer male companionship and counselling to fatherless hoys "I am aware of the family problem bu( provincial gov- ernment doesn't appear to says Al Mont of the Lethbridge Family Service Agency, "that's why I left the agency." Mr. Mont resigned his execu- tive director post vitli t h e agency ''bjca'ise the Alberta government is tightening its money belt at a time wiien there is a vital need for mar- riage and family counselling He didn't know if the fault lies with e'ecled members or the bureaucrats of government ''but somebody is putting the cart before the horse." he said. "The statistics." he said, "show a vital need for family counselling and it's about time the government recognized this. "Some peoole apparently are wondering if there is a real need for professional marriage and family counselling They have been able to cut costs in some areas by lusiii" 'lay' peo- ple." Mr. Mont fccK highly emo- tional mania! problems should be handled by individuals ex- perienced and trained in that field of work "Lay" people are nviiitiy in- volved in aiding those in aoed after the family splits. "They're doing a terrific job bui we must try to help fami- lies solve their differences be- fore it results in a he said. He proposed that marriage counselling be fi- by medicare, based on one's ability to pay. The warm chinook winds that Lethbridge is so famous for may be a contributing factor toward this city's high duorce rale. Dr Lawrence Koikas. local psvchiatrist. says the cause mental tension which in turn creates emotional prob- leir.v that could lend to family break-ups. By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer He bases his theory on statistical curve of human de- pression which reaches its peak iti the spring of each year. Captain Ron Butcher of the Lethbridge Salvation A r m y snys the number of suoide calls he receives is always much greater when the strong v aids aio blowing Dr Kotkas said there is al- ways- a sharp increase in the number of crimes, and auto ac- cidents in the spring months. I! has been a long accepted fact that weather has a definite effect ST. the mental mood of the human being. It is part of folk knowledge that the elderh feel weather clvanges in their bones. Even youth are affected by a rapid change of weather. Many teachers have claimed they can tell of a wea'lwr change by the mood of their students. If the curve of depression rises sharply with a sudden change in weather then it's log- ical to assume the people of Lethbridge are mentally de- pressed more often than resi- dents in places with a more coas'ant weather pattern The Ijcthbridge ares has many false throughout the winter due to the vinda. siiid Dr Kolkas. ''We suffer like trees" Other geographic areas wi'h the same chinook wind condi- tions as> Lethbridge have simi- lar flue-mating depression per- iods "S'atNtics show that when thf warm wi'ids blow in the of Austria and Hungary tfiejr .filicide rale per popula- tion is usually the highest in the said Dr Kotkas. The high divorce rate could be attrib" able to tlie afflu- ence of this area, said Dan Chipman, director of the pro- vincial government Guidance Clinic. ''It could well be that people can afford to hire lawjers to obtain a divorce rather than just he said. If the present divoice ralo in Lethbridge is causing a facial b'uslt of red among finor their emh in ni.ght Iv tihivr' In fd New rules f-ast mon-td JusU'ce Olto Lang SasJ plans new- rules to remove inequalities tween rich and poor seeking divorces. He said lack of money shouldn't bar poor people from obtaining a divorce. When individuals sue for di- vorce and handle their own case, the cost is only the dis- bursements. This includes sher- iff'.- and filing fees, and court costs. Depending on the case, the price range for a self-handled divorce ranges from to Tlie success rate would de- pend on how effective the in- dividual at handling legal complications. The divorce ki1 that cre- ated much publicity in the last two years has never been used in Lethbridge courts. Lfnroaliability is not in the kit itself but'in the Ludvidual handling the kit said Vaughau Hembroff, local lawyer. The tariff set by the Leth- bridge Bar Association for aa undefended divorce is That's the minimum a local lawyer can charge. For those who qualify, an legal aid duorce citn be obtained for Cost varies The cost of obtaining a di- vorce varie.i directly the complications involved in car- rymp out t.he lr <1 procedure. Coiirt ;n'o one of (ho man) uinablei Tor example, an undefended J t tfkef Hi minutes of court tii'-.-s v on Id be much kss Continued on Page 6 ;