The Key ‘Marriage’ Decision That Reportedly Has a Major Impact on Couples’ Chances of Staying Together

A study conducted in the U.K. has concluded that couples who follow the traditional model of waiting to have children until after they’re married have a profoundly better chance of staying together than those who have children before getting hitched — or who cohabit.

While only 24 percent of couples who got married before having kids split, 56 percent of couples who got married after having babies broke up and 69 percent of those who never married split up, according to results released by the Marriage Foundation, a pro-marriage group in the U.K.

Marriage Foundation
Marriage Foundation

Looking at the data from the other side, 76 percent of mothers who married before having kids were still with their spouses, while only 44 percent who married after children could say the same; just 31 percent of those who never married were still together.

The results were garnered from analysis of the Understanding Society study, a longitudinal effort that explores contemporary life in the U.K.

By examining 1,783 mothers with children aged 14 or 15 from data gathered in 2009 and 2010 and classifying the women into three categories based on when or if they were married (before having kids, after or never married), researchers were able to look at matrimonial differences.

Though mothers who were married before having children were more likely to have a college degree and were, on average, four years older than their peers, these factors didn’t have a major impact on marital stability, according to the Marriage Foundation.

It should be noted that the sample sizes were relatively small for those who married after birth and who never married when compared to women who married before having kids.

“In our sample of 1,783 mothers, we identified 1,155 who were married before the birth of their child, 250 who married subsequently, 232 who began as a couple but never married, and a further 146 who did not have a partner at time of birth,” the study explains.

Marriage Foundation
Marriage Foundation

In the end, the Marriage Foundation found that the most stable mothers were those who were married and had a degree when they had children, as only 18 percent had split up by the time the kids were 14 or 15. 

Read more about the study here. The Marriage Foundation was founded by Paul Coleridge, a retired judge with the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in the U.K.

(H/T: Christian Today)