Virginia study finds more unwed women having children

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

There has been an interesting shift in society in regards to having children outside of marriage. It is no longer just teenage girls involved in this issue. Instead, it now includes 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 conducted a study on this very issue. The study is cleverly titled: "Knot Yet: The benefits and costs of delayed marriage in America." The study had some interesting findings. Women in their twenties are now having children before getting married at a higher rate. This phenomenon is occurring mainly amongst working-class women, or those with high school degrees. In fact, over 50 percent of women in this group will likely have their first child before marriage.

The women who make this decision believe that having a child is important and do not want wait to find the perfect partner. Many assume that because they are older, they will not suffer from the same challenges as teen mothers. The Virginia study reveals that in fact the opposite is true, particularly because the working-class has been the most negatively affected section of the population by the economic downturn and persistently high unemployment rate. Children born to unwed older women can still suffer family instability, problems at school and drug problems.

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

Having a child presents unique and complicated issues. 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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