Americans are waiting longer to marry these days, with some deciding marriage is an antiquated institution that they want no part of according to a Pew Research Study. But that doesn’t stop couples from cohabiting and even having children together.
So, what does that mean for divorce and co-parenting?
Well, obviously, if they’ve never married, going through the legal process of divorce is eliminated, but these parents still face the rigors and questions of co-parenting in two homes and as a result, family law attorneys see plenty of cases with never-married couples who want to legally codify a parenting plan to guide their lifelong responsibilities and ensure financial security for their children.
The divorce rate in America has been steadily falling for some time, but the downward trend of marriage in America isn’t that significant – yet. The 2019 Pew study reported that 58 percent of Americans were married in 1995 and now, it’s 53 percent. The study also revealed that more than three-quarters of young adults today are comfortable with the idea of living with a partner outside of marriage; and it’s not surprising that views about marriage vary according to religious affiliation.
But even with all of these changes in how people are now viewing marriage and parenting, married adults show higher levels of happiness in their relationships, along with more trust, than unmarried cohabiting couples.
Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate is 2.3 per 1,000 people. And, more people were married in 2021 than in 1960 – perhaps due to a more robust nationwide population!
A lot of factors influence whether a person is likely to marry, cohabitate or stay single. Regardless, we are definitely in an age when the question of parenting exists outside of and separate from the question of marriage. If children are the future, then isn’t it wise for unmarried parents to commit to protecting their relationships with their children even when they themselves are no longer a couple.
Could this impact where we are in a decade or two from now? Who knows!