Does Living Together before Marriage Raise Divorce Risk?
For the past few decades, social scientists have pointed to couples living together before marriage as a factor that increases the divorce risk. Study after study has concluded that same result, but none of these studies ever pinpointed a reason why. However, a recent study suggests that all the former studies were actually looking at the incorrect variable to draw their conclusions from.
According to the study, which was sponsored by Council on Contemporary Families and conducted at the University of North Carolina, it is not whether or not a couple lives together before marriage that affects their chance of divorce. It is, however, the age at which a couple actually begins to live together—whether they are married or not. That factor, said researchers, is the variable that affects the divorce risk.
In many cases, when a couple decides to move in together, they are often younger than couples who wait until they are married to live together. When researchers of this study recognized that and took control of that variable, they found that it was the age that made a difference in whether or not the marriage was successful, not premarital cohabitation.
And according to what researchers found, couple who is under the age of 23 and move in together, either before or after wedlock, have a greater chance of divorcing. They also found that couples who waited the longest to live together had the most success rate. They point to maturity and economics as two of the main reasons for these findings.
This study seems to confirm another study, the 2012 National Health Statistic Report, which was prepared by the Centers for Disease Control. The report also concluded that couples who live together before marriage do not have a great risk of divorce than for couples who wait until they are married to live together.
If you have decided to divorce your spouse, there are several issues that may need negotiated, including child custody, asset division and spousal support. Contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney to discuss your options and needs.