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baby before marriage, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyConsider a common scenario: a young couple, dating but not engaged, suddenly discovers that they are going to have a baby. They certainly have options, but depending upon their age, maturity level and decision-making skills, they may not be able clearly think through the various possibilities. So, they inform their families.  Just a few generations ago, and to an extent, probably even now, the families were likely to respond with some variation of "I assume you are going to do the right thing," heavily implying that marriage should obviously be the plan. This type of social pressure and the stigma of having a baby before marriage has, for many years, led to an increase the risk of divorce for such couples. Recent studies suggest, however, that this is not the case anymore.

Long-Term Research

Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, researchers at Cornell University and the University of Michigan conducted a study published last month in the journal Demography. Led by Kelly Musick, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, the team closely examined child-bearing couples in two separate periods, from 1985 to 1995 and from 1997 to 2010. What they found was that the landscape of marriage, relationships, and childbirth has drastically changed in a relative short span of time.

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Posted on in Divorce

daughters divorce IllinoisPast studies have suggested that couples who have daughters are more likely to divorce than couples who have sons. In many research circles, the belief was held that the daughters were actually causing the divorces because fathers preferred sons over daughters and therefore the husbands did not want to stay married to women who did not produce sons. This thought was only confirmed for those researchers when the results of a study from 2003 were published with the following data:

  • Parents who have a daughter are five percent more likely to divorce than parents who have a son.
  • Parents who have three daughters are ten percent more likely to divorce than parents who have three sons.
  • Unmarried couples who are expecting a child are more likely to get married if the child is a boy.

Other researchers who disagreed with the theory that fathers were leaving marriages because of daughters pointed out that in 73 percent of marriage breakups, the wife initiates the divorce, not the husbands.

However, a new study from Duke University just may have discovered the answer to why the divorce numbers are higher for marriages with daughters. According to the study, the correlation between daughters and marriages may actually be occurring before the child is even born and is the result of female embryos being stronger and hardier than male embryos.

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