Study at University of Virginia shows unwed women having kids

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Child Support on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

There has been an interesting shift in which demographic society is concerned about having children outside of marriage. It is no longer teenage girls. Instead, it is women in their twenties. Although their older age may suggest that they are more capable of rearing children on their own, these unwed women still typically need some sort of child support.

The University of Virginia and other institutions conducted a study on this very issue. The study is cleverly titled -- "Knot Yet: The benefits and costs of delayed marriage in America" -- and has some interesting findings. Women in their twenties are now putting having children before getting married. This phenomenon is occurring mainly amongst working class women, or those with high school diplomas. In fact, over 50 percent of women in this group will likely have their first child before marriage.

The women who make this decision want children but do not think they will find the perfect partner. Many individuals assume that because these women are older, they will not suffer from the same challenges as teen mothers. However, quite the opposite is true, particularly because the working class has been most affected by the economic downturn and unemployment. Children born to unwed older women can still suffer family instability, problems at school and addiction issues.

In light of this reality, Virginian women who find themselves in single-parent situations should realize that securing child support may be necessary. Child support is extremely helpful. Some people may understand it as something that provides children with only their most basic needs. Child support is not so limited under the law, however. Child support can include a variety of costs, including: daycare expenses, school expenses, medical expenses and much more.

As women get older and become more settled in their careers, they can typically handle more responsibility. Having a child presents unique and complicated issues, however. Child support is still an important consideration in the decision to have a child, especially in a single-parent situation.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "For unwed moms, 25 is the new 15," Susan Reimer, April 1, 2013

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