Unmarried parents are four times more likely to split up than those who have wed, research revealed yesterday. It also indicated that co-habiting couples with children under 16 are now responsible for the majority of family breakdowns. On average, 5.3 per cent of these relationships ended each year from 2009-12, according to the study. But among those who had taken their vows, the average rate was only 1.3 per cent, said the Marriage Foundation think-tank and university academics.Here is the practical dilemma. If marriage is harder to exit without one-sided penalties, it will reduce the likelihood that men will voluntarily break up marriages, but also reduce the likelihood that men will voluntarily enter into them in the first place.
It would be interesting to know if women also account for 80 percent of all unmarried split-ups or not. If not, this would tend to indicate that the divorce disincentive is a contributing factor to unmarried split-ups by men on marriage strike.