Does Having Kids Increase the Risk of Divorce?

When parents get divorced, additional complications like child support and custody must be considered. But are New York parents more likely to get divorced than their counterparts without kids? While some may believe the stress of parenthood increases divorce risks, the statistics tell a more interesting story.

It is true that some studies show that marital satisfaction often takes a hit when children come into the picture.  However, research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that childless couples also experience a decline in satisfaction over time. So the question is, do the children cause marital satisfaction issues or are the social and financial pressures associated with raising a family to blame?

There are two reasons experts have identified for increased marital strain when raising a family. The first is lifestyle restraints, particularly for mothers who often leave the workforce to take care of families or struggle to balance the two. Kids also result in tighter schedules, from hobbies and sports through interrupted sleep habits. On top of this, finances can be more strained with more mouths to feed. According to BabyCenter, the average cost of raising a child, from birth to age 17, is $233,610.

While many families weather these challenges without difficulties, others find that marital strain results from the added stress. Sometimes, this can result in divorce, especially when combined with incompatibility, infidelity or abusive behavior. Those considering ending a marriage in New York should consult with a lawyer in the state to understand family law standards and options.

Source:, "Does Having Kids Statistically Increase Your Chances of Divorce? It's Complicated", Vanessa Taylor, May 12, 2018