Non-Traditional Family Structures
in Arizona

Number of Firstborns with Unmarried Parents is on the Rise

On behalf of the Arizona family law attorneys of My AZ Lawyers. Candace E. Kallen, managing attorney. Posted in Family Law on Monday, October 1st, 2012.

The world of family law is ever-changing. The number of non-traditional family structures in Arizona is on the rise. The number of firstborns that have unmarried parents is at its highest level ever. Will the increase of non-traditional families lead to an increase in custody, child support, and visitation cases, it is too early to tell.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, based on information of data collected from 2006 to 2010, the percentage of firstborns to women cohabiting with a male increased from 12 percent in 2002 to 22 percent in 2006 to 2010. In addition, the percentage of cohabiting new fathers rose from 18 to 25 percent.

Varying family configurations lead to additional: child custody, visitation, and child support issues and questions, some of which were not applicable in the when almost every child was part of the traditional family model. The increase in non-traditional families has made it so family law attorneys and lawyers must stay in touch and up-to-date with the applicable laws and opinions of the Arizona Family Courts.

The National Center for Health Statistics study also showed some racial or ethnic differences in the statistics. In Arizona among white women, 34 percent of first children were born outside of marriage, 20 percent of which were cohabitants. Approximately 80 percent of firstborn children of black women were outside of marriage. Also, 18 percent of these women were cohabiting. Among Hispanics, 53 percent of first children were outside of a union; 30 percent of these women were living with another person.

In total, the increase in first births to cohabiting women echoes the rise in first births to unmarried women. Of first births from 2006 to 2010, 46 percent were to unmarried mothers, compared with 38 percent in 2002. As the study obviously shows, the rate of firstborns to unmarried parents continues to rise. Many factors could have contributed to the rise, however, a quick decline is not expected.

With the changing face of not only who is becoming parents, but how to handle these new non-traditional families it takes a knowledgeable and adaptable family law firm to accommodate these changes. Keep this in mind when seeking the assistance of a family law lawyer in Arizona. Make sure that your family law attorney is aware of the ever-changing faucets of family law and is able and open-minded enough to appreciate that a family, traditional or non-traditional, is still a family and still have family law matters.