Could having children lead to higher divorce risk?

Texas parents who are struggling with their marriages may wonder if having children increases their risk of divorce. While some studies support this idea, the answer is more complex.

Children and divorce

According to some studies, a couple may be more likely to split up if they have children, particularly daughters. One study suggested that couples with daughters had a 10% higher risk of divorce. Data also suggests that unmarried couples who are pregnant with sons are more likely to marry suddenly and then stick it out when the marriage becomes strained and complicated. However, additional research seems to point out some other factors for this seemingly gender-based statistic, including:

  • 73% of divorces begin with wives leaving their husbands.
  • Daughters may be more supportive than sons when women decide to leave negative marriages.
  • Sons may be perceived as more work and less help for women who decide to leave their husbands.
  • Girls are more like to survive when pregnancies develop during conflictive, stressful marriages.

The effects of divorce on families

Whether having daughters really does increase the risk of a marriage failing, divorce affects both the adults and the children. The family dynamics change, and even in shared parenting situations, the reality is that the children will need to adapt to living with one parent at a time. In turn, the adults will often have to face the responsibilities of parenting without the immediate support of the other parent. In some cases, it may also mean having to leave the family home and the environment in which the children have grown up behind.

Divorce is a very complex process with long-lasting effects. Instead of focusing on whether children increase the risk of divorce, couples should instead prepare for the emotional and financial changes that result from the split.