TIME Magazine App Predicts when you should get married

young-woman-texting

TIME Magazine App Predicts when you should get married

Do you know when the perfect date for your wedding is? If not a new app can tell you. Brought to you by TIME Magazine, this new app predicts when you should get married. It works by first analyzing your Facebook friends’ relationship statuses and ages. Then it determines the median age of your friends’ marriages and proposes that you marry about the same age as they were.

In terms of their calculation procedure, the app only uses friends who have selected to include their date of birth in their Facebook profile, up to and including the year. Researchers for TIME believe that only a quarter of Facebook users include this information on their profile. The statuses the software recognizes are “engaged,” “married,” “in a civil union” or a “domestic partnership.” This is a small number of the average Facebook profile’s friends. One reporter using the app said that it only selected 10 out of her 900 Facebook friends as these were the only ones who chose to report their relationship status. Many others keeping their status private were then not counted in the app’s calculations.

Though it’s interesting it doesn’t seem as though anyone is planning their marriage or dating life around this app, nor should they. It makes one wonder what the point of this app is in general. Is it merely to elicit interest in TIME? There certainly isn’t a perfect date or age to get married. And with the inflated divorce rate, though it has dropped a bit for some groups, having artificial pressures or anxieties tossed atop an already large pile from one’s family and society seems ludicrous and outlandish. Certainly people today know that marriage isn’t something to be taken lightly. Though it has a fun aspect it can make someone who is single feel bad about their situation, as if there aren’t enough things that do that already.

Why not forgo this app and turn to a dating one instead? There are lots of them. Some select singles in your area and make it easy for you to chat with them. Online dating is a great way to do it too. Remember to give the person you meet a chance. Serial dating can be fun in the beginning but can wear you out in the end. If you are dating someone do not use this app to pressure them into marriage. Nor should you show the selected date to your significant other as anything other than a joke. It could backfire on you. Then you’ll be contacting TIME and all over the news for reporting that their marriage app broke up your relationship. Bet that isn’t something they saw coming. Who could have predicted it? If you’re thinking of taking it to the next level in your relationship read, Before You Say “I Do”: A Marriage Preparation Manual for Couples by H. Norman Wright & Wes Roberts.

Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

cell

Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

TIME magazine has a new Facebook app that, using an algorithm, tells women when it thinks they should get married. It comes to this conclusion using data culled from the women’s Facebook friend’s pages. News of the release of this app sent women in an uproar. Articles were written, lines upon lines of comments were found on forums all over the web asking women what they thought. The app has a few shortfalls. It doesn’t collect any data for people who are too lazy to change their Facebook status, or don’t update it because they believe that information is best kept private.

The true nature of this app is to play on the anxieties of single ladies, and to market products to them. The problem is that some women may also see TIME’s new marriage app as a blessing. It could be a wakeup call for some on how much time you really have. For having children, there is a biological window to produce happy, healthy offspring. This app could help wake a woman up to the fact that she better get a move-on with dating, or else the window might close.

Of course, most women who talk to their doctor about it know that a healthy child can be born well into the late thirties and, with procedures, beyond. The question is, should there be? Will the child get all the care, love, attention and energy from parents that they deserve when the parents might be a little too old to chase after them? Of course this varies from person to person, couple to couple and situation to situation. Extreme cases have hit the news. Biologists tell us that the late teens and early twenties are when women and men are most fertile. However, due to the extensive education needed to perform well in today’s economy, most experts take this into consideration and suggest around the early to mid-thirties as the optimal time to have children.

What gets women irritated is a whiff of being judged. It’s whether or not the app is saying that a woman made a wrong choice to stick with her career rather than have a family. Reasonably, this is a choice that every woman, and to a certain extent man, must make. Of course we don’t want to be reminded of the other path. But it’s there. We should think about it and come to terms with the choices we made. It’s the only way to find peace in our life. So don’t let this app get to you. Stand by your choice and love who you are. Come to terms with any regret or misplaced aggression, and you’ll live a fulfilling and happy life. If you are considering marriage read, 1001 Questions to Ask before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?

childsupport

When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?

When you first hear that your child is becoming emancipated, hope can dawn on many a cash strapped parent and ex-spouse. One question usually comes to their mind. When your child is emancipated do you still have to pay child support? But the issue isn’t that simple. It’s more complicated. Your child support responsibility doesn’t automatically end due to emancipation. Instead, you have to petition the court in order to terminate child support. Proceedings from this point vary according to state law. Child support laws vary considerably from state to state. In some states the minute a child turns eighteen child support is over. Whereas in other states it’s when the child turns twenty one or it could even depend on when they finish college. Emancipation itself is a different issue, but the laws on child support will influence the court’s ruling. There are states that require child support be paid to an emancipated child. Even though an emancipated child is supposed to be financially self-sufficient the court could decide that they receive a stipend monthly until they become a certain age. The original child support order may run in tandem or be extinguished due to this. It pays to have an experienced attorney on your side to help navigate this complicated issue.

Make sure you attend your child’s emancipation hearing. Your input won’t be heard otherwise and they may make a decision that is unfavorable to you. It doesn’t matter whether or not you support your child’s decision to become emancipated. You will be able to give your testimony and take part in the decision making process. Your input will be considered. Have with you a copy of your divorce decree. The judge may ask to read it in order to get better acquainted with the case. If they see for instance that this father is paying $400 per month in child support, the judge may redirect that money to the child. Or the court may decide that each party should contribute $200 per month to the child. The age of your kid is one of the most important factors. This will weigh heavily on the judge’s head. If it is a seventeen year old boy the judge may believe that the money being paid to the child is warranted, even if they can support themselves. The judge may also consider the position of each parent. If a parent is against the emancipation they may not grant the child support to the child. If you are angry at your ex-spouse, don’t direct that anger at your child or let that anger cloud your good judgment. Make sure that throughout you have the child’s best interest in mind. For more advice on child support read, Child Support Dollar$ and Sense for NCPs: Practical Advice, Guidance, Resources, and Much More for Non-Custodial Parents Juggling Child Support Issues by Marty Vaughn.

The Marriage Gap is a Good Thing

cohabit

The Marriage Gap is a Good Thing

The state of marriage has undergone tremendous change and continues to in American society today. The marriage rate has plummeted 37% in the last 40 years. A little over 400,000 cohabitated rather than got married in the U.S. in 1960. But as of the year 2000, some 5 million Americans cohabitate. Traditional marriage may be giving way to cohabitation as the dominant form of across gender relationships. Of course, couples can be intimate, close and plan a future together without being married. Many couples want more equality than in the past, even though how to achieve it alludes them, and many women believe marriage does not hold equality in its grasp. Another problem, marriages are too expensive, especially in this day and age where more young people are living at home, grappling with enormous student debt and unemployment or underemployment. Some want to own a home and be more financially stable before getting married. Many in the Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial generations grew up with their parent’s divorce in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and don’t want to go through that themselves. Lots in these groups also want to be older before having children, a big responsibility they don’t feel ready for.

But if you look into the reasons why listed above, it seems that the younger generations are considering different approaches to love than traditional marriage, or holding off on marriage for a host of well thought out and mature reasons. It’s good that young people want to be financially secure and emotionally ready before plunging into a huge responsibility like marriage and child rearing. 70% of those who live together for five years do end up getting married. So cohabitation in this view is making sure that the relationship is solid, happy, supportive and most importantly that it’s going to work. This also sounds sensible. Also, studies by the American sociological association found that women are just as interested in delaying marriage or living single, in nontraditional romantic relationships such as cohabitation and in non-cohabitation relationships as men. What’s come to pass is that young people are taking a responsible view on marriage. They refuse to be satisfied with divorces, financial instability, committing before they are ready, or living in functional marriages that lack passion or intimacy. Instead, they would rather wait. It will be a credit to them and society will become far more stable because of their foresight. For more insight on contemporary relationships read, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.

Conservative Red States have Higher Divorce Rates than Blue States

Divorce

Conservative Red States have Higher Divorce Rates than Blue States

Though conservative Protestants across the board say they are against divorce, there is a marked difference between the divorce rates in conservative Protestant red states and blue states researchers out of the University of Texas at Austin found. This research goes against the common assumption that fervent religious belief strengthens marriage. Arkansas and Alabama, the third and second most religiously conservative states have the highest divorce rates in the country. By contrast Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest rates, only about six or seven percent per one thousand people annually. The American Journal of Sociology will publish an article soon regarding a joint study conducted by the University of Iowa’s Philip Levchak along with University of Texas demographer Jennifer Glass where these results were discovered. Levchak and Glass painstakingly went through each county in the United States examining the divorce rate in each in the year 2,000. The divorce rate was calculated per 1,000 married couples.  The traits of the county examined were also recorded. The concentration of conservative or evangelical Protestants in the county researchers found was a predictor of the divorce rate in that county. Though researchers have come up with this population as a predictor of a county’s divorce rate, it’s still unclear as to why. Researchers have a few ideas.

Some experts say it has nothing to do with being part of a certain religious affiliation but more to do with poverty. These happen to be concentrated in the rural South, a region with high rates of poverty and wages far lower than the national average. It is poverty they argue that contributes to divorce and their religion has nothing to do with it. There are other scholars who think that the dogma of this religious group that cohabitation is a sin makes people get married earlier, perhaps before they are ready which leads therefore to a higher divorce rate. The relationships they argue are unstable, the couple doesn’t know each other well enough and hasn’t developed the necessary communication and coping skills and so these marriages are more volatile this argument goes. In the Glass Levchak study, this factor had no weight. These researchers say, cohabitation has nothing to do with it. Some experts posited that perhaps a tolerance for increased violence within married relationships was a factor, but the Levchak and Glass study recounts that as a fallacy as well. Levchak and Glass explain that lower income, lower education, earlier marriage and an earlier first birth are the contributing factors that connect religious conservatism and a high divorce rate. Glass elaborated by saying, “Restricting sexual activity to marriage and encouraging large families seem to make young people start families earlier in life, even though that may not be best for the long-term survival of those marriages.”

University of Illinois at Chicago economist Evelyn Lehrer wrote a report earlier to the Council of Contemporary Families saying that every year a woman puts off marriage until her early thirties, she decreases her chances of suffering a divorce at some point. Another result of the Glass Levchak study however was that those merely living in conservative religious areas had a higher propensity for divorce. It turns out that no matter what background young people are from, they are influenced by the social climate in which they live, researchers say. In areas where people get married and have children young there is no outside support from social institutions or schools to put off marriage and kids. Further education and job training take a back seat to marriage and child rearing. Those marriages too that start from a pregnancy that wasn’t planned also have a higher chance of divorcing according to senior fellows Philip Cowan and Carolyn Cowan at the Council on Contemporary Families. The CCF’s and Leher’s report discuss the benefits of putting off marriage and having children until the couple is sufficiently educated and trained to have access to a quality career in order to support themselves and the children they will have.  People in these counties should pressure their elected leaders to do more to provide student loans, business and job training to the young people of these areas, so that they can support their families and preserve their historic way of life. They should also put pressure on the federal government and others to enact more programs to help the poor help themselves out of poverty. On another front, one of the biggest things couples fight about is money. If you are getting married or cohabitating with someone, talk about money without any shame or blame. Establish rules. Start healthy habits. Find ways to cut down on expenses and even save a little for the future, even if it’s just pennies every check it helps. For more pick up a copy of, Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples by Matt Bell.