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Study: Child before marriage no longer a recipe for divorce

It's safe to say that many of the longstanding views on the American family have undergone a seismic shift over the years. For example, while it used to be that the traditional family dynamic was viewed as consisting solely of a married father and mother with two to three children, most of us now know from personal experience that this is certainly no longer the case.

Indeed, to show just how far our society has come in this regard, consider a recently published study by the non-profit Council on Contemporary Families.

What did this study examine?

The study set out to examine whether there is still a relatively high rate of divorce among those couples who have a baby together and get married at a later point.

How was the study arranged?

Using information supplied by the Centers for Disease Control's Survey of Family Growth, the researchers created two data pools: one consisting of women who had their first child sometime between 1985 and 1995, and one consisting of women who had their first child sometime between 1997 and 2000.

What did they discover?

Women in the first group who had their child first and married afterward were a whopping 60 percent more likely to divorce than women who got married first and had their first child afterward.

Women in the second group who had their child first and married afterward, however, were no more likely to divorce than women who married first and had their first child later.

What's behind these findings?

According to the researchers, the results can likely be attributed to the evolution of social mores, such that couples no longer feel the societal pressure to rush into a so-called "shotgun marriage" upon the birth of a child. This phenomenon, they argue, has allowed couples to move at their own pace and build altogether stronger relationships.

What are your thoughts on this study?

If you have questions or concerns related to child custody or parental rights, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about what the law in North Carolina has to say.