Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Increased Numbers of Unwed Mother Could Cause Increase in Estate Litigation

Estate litigationOver half of American women under age thirty who give birth today do so outside of marriage, and nearly two-thirds of American children are born to mothers under age thirty. According to a Washington research group, Child Trends, white women with some college education have seen the fastest growth in the number of unmarried women giving birth.  

Some mothers decide not to marry the father of their children because of lingering issues surrounding their own parents’ divorces, other mothers claim that marriage would cost them government benefits like food stamps and health care by increasing the household income. Regardless of the mother’s (or father’s) decision not to wed, however, the continuous increase in unwed mothers will likely result in an increase in litigation over the right of these non-marital children to inherit from their biological fathers.

See Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise, For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside of Marriage, The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2012. 


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