Does Having a Child After Marriage Increase Risk of Divorce?

According to a recent study, the answer is yes. Couples who have children immediately after getting married tend to divorce more frequently than those who do not. According to the study, the timing of the birth of the first child had an impact on how long the marriage lasted. The study was conducted by the CDC and analyzed over 10,000 men and 12,000 women over a 10-year period. The study further found that couples who waited eight months or more after their marriage to conceive had a much better chance of staying married.

The study is somewhat skewed by the fact that it considered premarital conceptions. In other words, children who were born within the first seven months of the marriage. Women who gave birth to children within the first eight months of marriage were only 48% likely to have their marriage last 15 years or more.

The study supports the idea that premarital births are tied to higher divorce rates.

How Long Do Most Americans Wait?

Most Americans wait much longer than that. The majority of couples in the U.S. wait three years or more to have their first baby. The study notes, however, that the data varies significantly by state. The shortest wait was Louisiana at 1.9 years. The longest wait was Utah at 4.7.

What is This Data Telling Us?

So, what is the data telling us? That requires interpretation. Multiple interpretations are possible. If you are religious with traditionalist views on marriage, you might blame the problem on premarital sex. If you are not, you might blame the problem on a lack of family planning, financial pressures facing new parents, and a lack of access to contraception.

Other studies seem to confirm that the risk of divorce is highest in the first seven years of marriage. 50% of all divorces occur within the first seven years. Even in marriages that did last, couples reported a decline in marital satisfaction after having their first child. This included less sex, more financial struggles, and new identity changes commensurate with becoming a parent.

Why Do Marriages Fail Because of Children?

The marriages do not fail because of the children, but because the parents are unprepared for the reality of being parents, the stress involved in keeping a job, new financial expenditures that limit recreational activities, and fights emerging over child-rearing and finances. Marriages that were not built to handle conflict collapse quickly under the strain. Parents who choose to get married because they are newly pregnant tend to have the worst outcomes.

Talk to a Cook County Divorce Attorney Today

If you need representation for a divorce or child support matter in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is here to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.

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