Many children born to unmarried couples in recent years

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

For some couples, marriage is an important next step in their relationship. For others, it is also a religious matter or even a matter of propriety. More and more, however, couples are deciding against going down the marriage road. For some, it is a matter of legality, as same-sex marriages are not available in every state. Others simply don’t feel that marriage is for them. Whatever the case, unmarried couples are not uncommon in Missouri.

For some couples it is a matter of finance. Marriage is costly and if you also plan to acquire a home and have children, it could be a struggle to afford. Some couples choose to give birth to a child out of wedlock, deeming the raising of a child to be more meaningful and perhaps putting marriage off for another day. According to a 2012 study, when it came to children born of mothers under age 30, over half had mothers who were not married.

Many would argue that high numbers of unmarried couples with kids is a perfectly acceptable thing. As long as a child is receiving the care and attention it deserves, does their parents’ marital status really make a difference? Federally funded programs aimed at promoting marriage have met with little success. Furthermore, if a couple gets married and the relationship doesn’t work out, the cost and strain of going through divorce could potentially leave the couple in a worse position than they may have been in had they never married.

As much as marriage is a choice, so is remaining unmarried, but it does come with its own legal obstacles. For example, as unmarried couples do not have access to many of the legal mechanisms available to those in marriages, particularly in the event of a separation, other arrangements may need to be made to address certain important family law issues. Whether you are planning a future with your partner, or dividing property during a separation, an attorney can advise you on your options and help you in protecting you interests.

Source: Miami Herald, “For millennials, out-of-wedlock childbirth is the norm,” Jordan Weissmann, June 24, 2014

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