In Carmen (Heredia Rodriguez’s) column “Marriage has some strings attached,” she mentioned several benefits for married couples.
Unfortunately, these benefits are not seen for all people who rush into marriage. When discussing raising a family and comparing married vs. single couples with children, (Heredia Rodriguez) said couples married before their first child have a 13 percent chance, versus 40 percent of their unmarried counterparts, to separate within the first five years of marriage.
A stable home is always beneficial to a child and being married is not the crucial factor. Couples with children on the way before marriage are encouraged by society to marry, even when they are not compatible, “for the child.”
Marrying earlier does not solve this, but access to reproductive services does give the option to decide when it is the right time for a child, because each child can cost more than $245,000 for the first 18 years — not including college.
According to a University of Michigan study, “the earlier a woman can start birth control, the more likely she is to earn higher wages later in life.” This allows women to invest into their “human capital,” such as careers and education.
Yet women, who are single, pay more than a million dollars more in their lifetime than their married counterparts due to tax breaks, social security benefits and savings in health and housing due to discriminatory policies. Men face similar discrimination and costs when unmarried. Financially, marriage is the greatest tax break you can get from the government, but can hinder a woman’s career by employer discrimination against married women due to a potential pregnancy.
Marriage isn’t the solution to everyone’s problems and should be because both parties benefit from the commitment and wish to take part without pressure from children, etc.
(Heredia Rodriguez’s) article also is massively heteronormative and misses the unique challenges faced by the LGBT community especially during a time of massive gay marriage legalization. If you are someone considering marriage, there are more negatives to marriage than just being ostracized from your peers and many more benefits than low divorce rates.