Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Alan T.S. Jr. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - March 18, 2009)

According to a report issued by the CDC this morning, not only did 2007 see the largest number of children born ever in the United States (4,317,119), but the percentage of children born out out wedlock reached an all-time high as well: 40%. Pretty interesting stuff.

Media reports today blame the usual suspects: cultural shifts, media influence, etc. But this afternoon, thanks to Justice Sills, I learned the true reason for the increase in births to unwed mothers: Litigation.

How's that, you ask? How could lawsuits possibly lead to an increase in births by unwed mothers?! For the answer, I need only refer to page three of this afternoon's opinion by the Court of Appeal, which contains empirical evidence that the cost and burden of litigation leads to an increase in out-of-wedlock births:

"Alan's [the husband] . . . ran up a large credit card debt in order to pay a $25,000 attorney fee bill from the time when he was represented . . . . Mary [the wife] has remarried, Alan lives with a non-marital partner with whom he recently had a child. [FN:] Alan told us at oral argument that, given his experience in this litigation, he is reluctant to ever get married again."

Divorce court. The heretofore unknown cause of out-of-wedlock births. Stay tuned for more developments on this much-overlooked influence on American demographics.