Having children is not a cheap business. I don’t think many people would claim that they were left better off after their offspring were born.
What is less obvious is the additional stress that having twins can bring upon a couple, as demonstrated in the results of a new study out this week showing parents who have twins, triplets or young children very close together are more likely to divorce.
The University of Birmingham research team analysed the annual Family Resources Survey for 2004-2007, alongside the Millennium Cohort Study. It revealed 28 per cent of multiple birth families who had been married had subsequently divorced or separated, compared with 24 per cent for other families with children.
They found that 62 per cent of multiple-birth families said they were financially worse off after their babies were born, compared with 40 per cent of other parents, with financial stress being the biggest contributor to family breakdown.
These figures come as no surprise but do illustrate how tricky it is to balance the financial and physical demands of a family with a healthy relationship between a couple.
In the UK, couples receive no additional benefit or entitlement if they have multiple children at the same time. Surely this is something that can be tackled to just give that little bit of extra help to families who are struggling? Reducing the financial burden will reduce the stress on a couple and so could ultimately save a relationship and support a family home. I think most people would agree that this is the ideal environment in which to raise children, given the choice.
Deciding to split up a family and go for a separation or divorce is not an easy decision to make and can be a daunting prospect. For those couples who cannot make things work and decide it is the only option, again a helping hand can make all the difference.
Nick Wiseman, one of the family law experts at Woolley & Co, addresses on this issue in his video looking How To Get A Divorce, in a bid to explain the process, examine how long it will take and set out the various milestones that a couple will go through.
But devoting time and money to helping couples before they reach that stage would be the best option all round.