Family Court Child Custody Cases and Family Court Child Support Cases May Come to Surpass Family Court Divorce Cases

The divorce rate is declining. The marriage rate is too.

But one family-related statistic isn’t decreasing:

The percentage of all US births that are out-of-wedlock, at least those to mothers under the age of thirty (who represent two-thirds of all births).

Nationwide, that percentage has climbed to a solid majority of births, fifty-three (53%) percent.

In some communities, such as Lorain, Ohio, the percentage has risen to sixty-three (63%) percent.

Many reasons have been cited for these sweeping social changes:

  1. Men perceive divorce law as inequitable and burdensome to them.

  2. And women increasingly view men as, at best, unreliable noncontributors to their families, economically and otherwise. And, at worst, denizens of the criminal element.

  3. Perhaps interestingly, some blame these social changes on the government-furnished safety net inspiring irresponsibility and unaccountability, more than the recession.

A local family court judge invokes the case of a man with nine out-of-wedlock children … by six different mothers. And his mounting child support arrearages.

On the other hand, in years gone by, as many as one-third of marriages may have been precipitated by accidental pregnanies – at a time when pregnancy stigmatized an unwed mother.

What does all this mean for the Florida family courts (and other states’ family courts)? Fewer divorce cases. More child support-only cases and more child custody cases, called paternity cases.