Do Children of Divorce Have Happier Marriages?


If you are a parent seeking divorce advice in Pasadena, chances are you are worried about how all of this will affect your children. Many parents worry if their successes and failures at marriage directly impact their child's future relationships. A new article in The Wall Street Journal suggests that children of divorce have learned from their parents' mistakes and tend to have happier, longer-lasting marriages.

Author Susan Gregory Thomas, a child of divorce, says the children of Generation X - kids born between 1965 and 1980 - have witnessed the effects of divorce and taken its lessons to heart.

"According to U.S. Census data released this May, 77 percent of couples who married since 1990 have reached their 10-year anniversaries," Thomas says. "We're also marrying later in life, if at all. The average marrying age in 1950 was 23 for men and 20 for women; in 2009, it was 28 for men and 26 for women," Thomas writes.

She also points out that modern couples are more likely to live with one another before getting married. A 2007 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research noted that "among those entering first marriages in the early 2000s, nearly 60 percent had previously cohabited with their future spouses." Thomas says that many couples are taking their time to get to know one another before walking down the aisle, therefore meaning less divorces.

Yet Thomas is a realist (and she herself has divorced). Being part of the divorce generation, she points out that survivors of divorce are more likely to partake in civil and amicable breakups after witnessing their parents' nasty divorces.

"I have yet to meet the divorced mother or father who feels like a good parent, who professes to being happier with how their children are now being raised. Many of us have ended up inflicting pain on our children, which we did everything to avoid.

But we have not had our parents' divorces, either," she adds. "We can only hope that in this, we have done it differently in the right way."