There are many deal breakers when it comes to marriage. This is why many family law attorneys, who have seen many divorces emerge from one spouse wanting a child and the other not wanting a child, say it’s important to have these discussions before walking down the aisle. This way everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises.
Looking at the situation, if one spouse wants children and the other does not, the one who wants kids may feel resentments against their partner for denying them something so important to their life. However, on the other side, if one spouse is being pressured into having a child that he or she really doesn’t want, that can not only ruin a marriage, but it can also be detrimental to a child.
It also doesn’t just stop with talking about whether or not to have children, as couples need to talk about expectations in terms of how many children and what their plans are for raising those kids. Will one parent stay home? Where will the family live? How will expenses be paid for?
Of course, while this is definitely good advice to talk about the topic of children before getting married, keep in mind that sometimes a spouse will change their mind. Maybe he wanted kids before, but now doesn’t. Or maybe she was dead set on not having children, but now wants at least three. It’s only natural that these types of mind-changes could put added stress on a marriage — and possibly even lead to divorce.
Source: The Washington Post, “Divorce attorneys, therapists: Closing the deal on kids before marriage not always realistic,” Aug. 20, 2012