Children, developmental disabilities and divorce
What impact does the number of kids a married couple has have on divorce likelihood? A recent study yielded some intriguing results regarding this issue. The results indicate that the answer to this question may depend on whether or not a married couple has any children with developmental disabilities.
The study looked at data from a longitudinal study and compared the divorce likelihood of various different married parents.
The study found that, for married parents who had no children with developmental disabilities, divorce likelihood tended to go up the more children they had.
However, this trend was not present for married parents who had at least one child who had a developmental disability. For these parents, no change in divorce likelihood occurred the more children they had.
Why might having a child with a developmental disability change what effects the number of children a couple has has on the couple’s likelihood of getting divorced? One possibility is that there might be unique family dynamics within a family that has multiple kids with at least one of the kids having a developmental disability (such as the non-disabled kids helping with the care and support of the child with the disability) that could help reduce marital stress.
As this study underscores, things can be different for a family in a range of different ways when one of its members has a developmental disability.
Having a child who has a developmental disability can also pose some special issues for parents who decide to divorce. For one, some special concerns can arise regarding the issue of child custody when a child has a developmental disability. Attorneys can help parents with navigating special child custody issues, such as custody issues related to children with developmental disabilities.