Having children before marriage and divorce likelihood

Posted by Lauren S. CohenSep 18, 20150 Comments

Married couples with children can vary in their circumstances considerably. One way in which they can vary is when they had their children. Some married parents had their children after getting married. Others had their children before their marriage. 

Is there a difference between these two types of married couples when it comes to divorce likelihood? A recent report indicates that there used to be, but there no longer is.

The report was issued earlier this week by the Council on Contemporary Families. In the report, researchers used data from a survey to compare the divorce likelihoods of married couples that cohabitated and had children before getting married and married couples that didn't have their first child until after getting married.

They compared this among two groups: couples who had their first child in the 1985-1995 period and couples who had their first child in the 1997-2010 period. Among the first group, the report found there was a pretty big difference in divorce likelihood between the married couples who had children before marriage and those who just had children after they were wed, with the couples that had children prior to marriage having a 60 percent higher divorce likelihood. However, among the second group, the report found that no meaningful difference between these two types of married couples existed when it came to divorce likelihood.

This would seem to indicate that, in recent times, the differences in divorce likelihood between couples who were married before having children and married couples that had children before they were wed have disappeared. The report's lead researcher suggested that changes in societal views and pressures may have played a role in this disappearance.

What do you think is behind this divorce likelihood difference going away?

Married couples of all different sorts of circumstances can end up pursuing a divorce. When parents are divorcing, the specific circumstances of them, their children, their marriage and their family can have big impacts on the major issues in their divorce, including child custody. Divorce attorneys can help divorcing parents of all different kinds of backgrounds and situations with developing an approach to child custody and other issues in their divorce that properly accounts for the specifics of their situation.

Source: The Huffington Post, “A Baby Before Marriage Doesn't Increase Divorce Risk, Study Finds,” Brittany Wong, Sept. 17, 2015