In this REPORT, co-sponsored by several family-focused non-profits, the authors studied marriage and childbirth trends in the United States. According to the research, a growing number of Americans are waiting to tie the knot. “Over the last four decades, the age for tying the knot has risen steadily for all educational and socioeconomical groups.”
The reasons for putting off marriage are varied. Many young adults wish to build their own financial and psychological independence before starting a family. For women, later marriage has resulted in increased financial success. College educated women who wait until they are over 30 to marry earn up to $18,152.00 more than college educated women who marry early.
Later marriage has also helped decrease America’s divorce rates.
But fear not, school teachers, child psychologists and family lawyers. You will still have plenty of work.
The decrease in early marital unions does not correlate to a decrease in childbirth. Young couples now cohabitate and have children at about the same age they used to marry. An estimated 48 percent of first child births are to unmarried women. “At the age of 25, 44 percent of women have had a baby, while only 38 percent have married.” Since 2010, a large majority of child births to American women in their early twenties have been non-marital.
Just as with married couples, cohabitating couples frequently split up. In fact, cohabitating couples reportedly split up and enter into new relationships at much greater frequency than their married counterparts. Unmarried parents must work together, with or without the assistance of the court, to create a workable co-parent arrangement for their children.
In some ways, custody cases can be more difficult than divorce cases. For example, an unmarried father in Utah has no right to custody or visitation with his child unless he can first establish his paternity. Unmarried parents may also have greater differences in their values, religious beliefs and educational goals, possibly leading to more parental decision-making disputes.
“Thirty’s the new twenty,” and unmarried parenthood may be the new normal. Intermountain Legal’s experienced custody attorney can assist you in establishing parental rights and obtaining a Utah custody order.