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Divorce rates fall among couples who marry after having children

Texas residents may be aware that divorce rates have traditionally been higher among couples who got married after the birth of their first child, but a report released by the Council on Contemporary Families on Sept. 16 indicates that this may no longer be the case. According to researchers from Cornell University and the University of Michigan, couples who marry after their first child is born now divorce at similar rates to those who marry before having children.

The researchers compared the divorce rates of couples who married between 1985 and 1995 with those of couples who married between 1997 and 2010. They found that the marriages of couples who wed after the birth of their first child between 1985 and 1995 were 60 percent more likely to end in divorce than those of couples who were childless when they married. However, this higher risk of divorce had all but disappeared among couples who married after having a child between 1997 and 2010.

Some observers feel that these statistics may reflect evolving societal attitudes toward children born out of wedlock. In decades past, unmarried couples who had a child often felt compelled to marry, but attitudes toward cohabitation have softened noticeably in recent years. The research also revealed that the number of couples having children before getting married has more than doubled in the last 25 years.

Divorce is often an emotionally draining process, and this is particularly true when the couple involved have children. Discussions over child custody and visitation can quickly become contentious, and spouses sometimes find themselves so entrenched in their positions that reaching an amicable resolution becomes difficult. A family law attorney may assist a client in this situation by attempting to negotiate an agreement while pointing out that protracted court battles can be expensive and offer no guarantees of a successful outcome.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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