According to research published earlier this year, millions of Americans are putting baby plans before wedding plans.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly one in four first-born babies, or 22 percent, are born to unmarried couples living together.

The numbers jumped dramatically from 12 percent in 2002. The law doesn’t recognize your relationship, whether it’s happy, longstanding or even if it’s committed.

In addition the CDC gives these sad stats:

Number of live births to unmarried women: 1,633,471
Birth rate for unmarried women: 47.6 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44 years
Percent of all births to unmarried women: 40.8%

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 38 percent of Americans believe that unmarried couples living together is bad for society.

The findings were based on data from more than 23,000 face-to-face interviews with American men and women ages 15 to 44. Men and women with lower education levels were more likely to have more children than people who attended college. Hispanic women were more likely to give birth at an earlier age and have more children than other races, as well.

Experts say a cultural acceptance of having children out-of-wedlock, along with the economic downturn, contribute to the dramatic jump in children born to unmarried couples who live together. Unmarried cohabiting couples face difficulties that married couples don’t generally have. The main issue is the question of “yours, mine and ours.”

A legally binding marriage helps to organize that landscape, but without a contract things can get messy if a relationship goes awry. It’s a matter of self-defense when you don’t have anything on paper to defend your interests.

Housing, estate planning and insurance are all factors to consider when deciding to move in and have a child with a partner with whom you’re not married. This may present a little legal hiccup as the news comes that Kardashian is still battling to exit her brief marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries.

Good Luck and God Bless Kanye & Kim. It is always great to bring life into the world. Yet it is sad when it comes in a package that isn’t ideal. Kris it is time to sign the papers. Give K&K the chance to legalize their union.

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