Selected Statistics on Canadian Families and Family Law:
Second Edition



National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY)

This is a biennial survey of 25,000 children who were 11 and under when the survey began. The first cycle was collected in late 1994. The same families will be surveyed every two years for eight years (four cycles), with additional children (birth to one year old) added each cycle. The survey has a section entitled "Family History and Custody," which contains information on support payments, custody and access to children by non-custodial parents. All sections of the first and second cycles of the survey have been released. The third cycle of data has been collected and is presently being released. This survey will provide detailed information on the changes in custody and access arrangements over time.

Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP)

The registry contains data on every divorce application and judgment filed in Canada since 1970. The Department of Justice Canada enters the information into a database which is edited by the Health Division of Statistics Canada and published in its annual report on divorces in Canada. The unit of count is the number of finalized divorces in a calendar year. This report includes dates of marriage and divorce numbers of children, birth dates of children and custody arrangements. Some data quality problems have been identified with the information collected on the type of custody due to varying definitions of "joint custody."

Survey of Labour Income Dynamics (SLID)

This is a longitudinal survey of households similar in content to the Survey of Consumer Finances except that the same households are surveyed every two years. Started in 1994, it collects data on support payments as an element in sources of income. The first cycle results are now being published. The results will show changes in the levels of support received by respondents as well as other changes, like those in the population receiving support.


Tax Statistics

Information is taken from Revenue Canada income tax returns including the number of payers and recipients of support, as well as the dollar amounts. Through its Statistics Division, Revenue Canada publishes basic statistical tax data on various characteristics of the returns, such as the number of returns, the number of persons reporting the different income items and deductions, and the total amounts reported in those categories. Revenue Canada may also provide the total incomes of individuals.