Get married before you have children

Publication type



Harry Benson

Publication date


• In the first study of its kind in the UK, we find that the odds of staying together are greatestamong couples who marry before having children. This finding is independent of mothers’ ageand education.• One quarter of couples who married before having children split up, compared to more thanhalf of couples who married later and two thirds of couples who never married at all.• Staying together boosts family income by almost exactly the same amount as if the mother hasa university degree.


Social Change, Family Formation And Dissolution and Childbearing: Fertility



Analysis of Understanding Society data by Stephen McKay

Related Publications

  1. Getting married before having children ‘boosts chances of staying together’ – study
  2. Unmarried parents 'three times as likely to separate '
  3. Reality check: are we living happily ever after?