Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:35 am Post subject: UNWED PARENTS 6 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO SPLIT BEFORE CHILD 5
|The argument for marriage: Unwed parents are six times more likely to split by the time their child is fiveBy Sarah Harris
Last updated at 10:11 PM on 17th June 2011
Unmarried parents are six times more likely to split by their child's fifth birthday than those who are married, say researchers.
Cohabiting partners face a 'disproportionate' risk of breaking up in the early years of their son or daughter's life.
The study from the think-tank the Jubilee Centre will reignite concerns that Britain is fast becoming a nation of broken homes.
Broken homes: Unmarried parents are six times more likely to split by their time their child reaches five. (Picture posed by models)
The trend is particularly worrying because other research shows that children brought up by couples, especially married couples, are likely to do better than youngsters in single parent homes.
Last year Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith warned that children from broken homes are nine times more likely to commit a crime than those from stable families.
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Researchers from the Cambridge-based think-tank analysed data from more than 14,000 households and 22,265 adults.
Among parents who were living together when their first child was born, 37 per cent separated by the time the child reached five.
Future: Children from broken homes are nine times more likely to commit a crime, according to Ian Duncan Smith
For couples who were married at their child's birth, the figure was 6 per cent.
By the time the child was 16, 16 per cent of married couples had separated compared to 66 per cent of cohabiting couples – a four-fold difference.
For couples who initially cohabited but subsequently got married, the corresponding risks of separation were 7 per cent and 29 per cent at the child's fifth and 16th birthdays.
This is still a 20 per cent and 80 per cent greater risk compared to couples already married when their first child was born, according to the report, Cohabitation: An Alternative to Marriage? which is published on Monday.
Dr John Hayward, director of the think-tank, said: 'All the evidence suggests that families headed by married, biological parents who have not previously lived together provide the best environment for both the individuals involved and their children.
'This has huge personal, social, economic and political consequences for us all.'
Office for National Statistics figures show that nearly one child in three lives without their mother or father.
Women who have children without being married are accepting life without committment so it's not surprising the men don't stick around. I think it's important to be married before having children as it shows a public (and legal) declaration of love and committment which is essential for a stable family.
All we are getting from this government and the last is broken promises and broken homes, third world here we are and it will only get worse.