The Pew Research Center recently published findings from a study that examined the American public’s concepts of marriage, family and children. According to the report, “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families,” published November 18, 2010, the number of Americans who are married, or who have been married, has diminished to a mere 52 percent (2008). This statistic is down from the 72 percent of adult Americans who were married in 1960. While the number of marriages in the United States is down among adults, the number of children living in modified families, such as multi-generational households and separated or divorced parents, is relatively high. The North Carolina family law attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt believe this change in the family paradigm is a product of young adults’ behaviors and attitudes. When it comes to adults between the ages of 20 and 29, only 26 percent are married, as opposed to 68 percent of this demographic being married in 1960. While perceptions and behaviors are changing, there is still a need to protect yourself and your children, as remarriage, cohabitation and child rearing are always accompanied by legal ramifications.
According to the Pew study, the changes in marital patterns have impacted the lives of children involved in non-traditional unions. As many adults no longer consider marriage