Having Kids Before Marriage Does Not Increase Divorce Rates
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from http://www.mothering.com/articles/recent...rce-rates/

Meet. Fall in love. Get married. Have kids.

Whether due to tradition or preference, this has been the order of things for many couples.

For a long time, evidence backed the idea of getting married before having children. Data on families from 1985 to 1995, for example, demonstrated couples that wed before conceiving were more likely to stay together than those who had children first.

Even when researchers accounted for other factors that can contribute to divorce, such as financial situation, education and family background, couples that had children prior to getting married faced a 60% higher risk of divorce.

That’s a big difference!

As such, there remains a stigma around stepping away from tradition. (Just try being the couple with a child at a party who says, “Oh, we’re not married,” and have a look at people’s faces.) The reality is, those of us who do things differently still have our commitment to family questioned.

But today there is good news for those of us who didn’t do things the traditional way: data from the last few years shows no increased risk of divorce for those who had babies prior to nuptials.

That’s right: In terms of relationship longevity, it seems getting married first is now simply a preference, not a benefit.

While a surprise pregnancy out of wedlock used to be quickly “righted” by a walk down the aisle, many couples are now choosing to wait until they become parents to take their vows—if they take them at all.

In fact, a 2013 study done by the University of Virginia shows 48% of children in the U.S. are now born to unwed mothers. And before making any assumptions, it should be noted many of these women have a college education. Gone are the days when having a child out of wedlock drastically increased the risk of a life of hardship and poverty.

Why are more people having babies first? Couples are feeling less pressure to live life in one specific way. Instead, they’re choosing what works for them. Many people are moving in together, buying property and making other large investments before saying, “I do.” Commitment is now forged in no particular order.

The cost of a “dream wedding” could also be a factor. With the average U.S. wedding costing $26,000, that special day might get put on hold until it becomes more affordable.

But do all families fare well in these more contemporary arrangements? Not necessarily. Couples who have a child and never to get married are the most likely to split up. In fact, 30% of them are no longer together after five years. Why? Researchers can’t rule out other factors that can contribute to separation, so it’s hard to say. But it seems getting married does increase a relationship’s chance for success.

My own family is a happy contemporary success story. We were married quite young with a nine-month-old attached to my hip. Baby made three on our wedding day, and we are still together many years and two more children later.

It seems happily ever after takes many forms.
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Having Kids Before Marriage Does Not Increase Divorce Rates - by PrairieMom - 11-28-2015, 09:53 PM



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