Expecting a new child seems like a way for a couple to solidify their relationship. Some people even decide to have a child to help save a struggling marriage. People often assume that a new child is a permanent bond between the parents, but that isn’t always the case.
A pregnant woman may become financially dependent on her spouse because she cannot work if she has health issues during her pregnancy. The couple will also bond over the love of their unborn or newborn child in many cases.
Unfortunately, not every marriage makes it through a pregnancy and the infancy of a child without going through a divorce. Pregnancy can strain a marriage past the breaking point, as can parenting a newborn. Many couples may find that adding a child to their family could actually be the decision that ultimately leads to the end of their marriage.
How frequently are children part of the reason that a couple divorces?
According to research into the impact of a new child on a couple, children are a big risk for an existing relationship. As many as one in five relationships will end within the first year of a shared child’s life. The stress of pregnancy or caring for an infant is a common contributing factor.
Infidelity is also often an issue. Many men first begin cheating on their wives when they are pregnant, a decision that could ultimately lead to the end of the marriage. Uneven division of parental responsibilities, sleep deprivation due to a colicky baby, and unrealistic expectations about parenthood can all increase a couple’s likelihood of going their separate ways after having a child together.
Divorcing with an infant requires special consideration
Getting a divorce while one spouse is pregnant or shortly after the birth of a child will require different planning than divorce is without children or with older children. The health of the mother and baby will affect what arrangements are realistic. The division of parenting time may be highly uneven at first, especially if the parents want to exclusively breastfeed the new baby.
Understanding that filing for divorce during or after pregnancy is quite common could help you accept your situation and start planning for your best life in the future.