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Divorce rates decrease for those who have a baby before marriage

New York families may be aware that in the past, having a child before marriage often resulted in a divorce down the line. However, a report released on Sept. 16 found that couples who were married after having their first child stay together just as long as those who have their first child after marriage.

The study, which was conducted by the Council on Contemporary Families, analyzed data from two groups of women: those whose first child was born between 1985 and 1995 and those whose first child was born between 1997 and 2010. In the first group, it was found that parents were 60 percent more likely to get a divorce than parents who had their first after tying the knot. In the second group, the divorce rate was similar between parents who had a child before marriage and parents who had a child after marriage.

According to a sociology professor at the University of Washington, the decrease in divorce rate among those who have a child before marriage may be a result of not being pressured into getting married and being able to move at their own pace. The lead author also noted that many parents cohabit without getting married, a practice that is becoming much more socially acceptable.

If a couple has a child and then decides to get a divorce, it can be difficult to come to an amicable agreement regarding legal and physical custody in addition to child support. If mediation fails, a family law attorney may assist a parent with negotiating where the child will live and what type of visitation schedule works best for a parent and their child. If the parents were never married, the attorney can still negotiate child support and a visitation schedule so that both parents have the opportunity to foster a strong relationship with the child.

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