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Living Together No Longer Determines Divorce

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 15-Jan-2013

For years researchers have reported that living with a future spouse will more likely cause the marriage to end in divorce. Now, Cohabitation is a factor in low risk marriage as well as high risk marriages. Thus, meaning living together before marriage is no longer a high risk as more of the general population is practicing co-habitation.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) supported a study of 22,000 men and women ages fifteen to forty-four. Couples who participated in their study were in their first marriage and participants were in a female-male relationship. Couples were studied nationally and across different ethnic backgrounds.

Some of the interesting findings of the research study include:

1. Individuals are waiting longer to get married and not marrying as young;

2. After ten years of marriage one third of men's first marriages ended in divorce;

3. Latin American men (foreign born) had a seventy percent chance of reaching twenty years of marriage and Asian women had a sixty-nine percent chance;

4. Cohabitation is no longer a deciding factor in a marriage ending in divorce;

5. Eighty-two percent of the women who were living with their partner were still together after five years of marriage (same percentage as women who did not live with spouse before the marriage) and

6. In 1982 women who were cohabitating was recorded at three percent, from 2006-2010 the number increased to eleven percent.

Results from the CDC study demonstrated that Latin American women (foreign born) are more likely to cohabitate with their partners before marriage. Latin American women made up sixteen percent of the women cohabitating, Caucasian women were eleven percent and African-American women were a little over nine percent.

The word engaged came up during the study. Women who believed that cohabitating was an engagement were less likely to end up in divorce then women who did not see it as engagement period. Men, though, did not view living together as an engagement.

The leading factors found to lead to divorce were:

1. Marrying young;

2. Having children before marriage;

3. Low level of formal education;

4. Family histories; and

5. Having had several sexual partners before marriage.

Sixty percent of women between the ages of twenty-five to thirty-nine have lived with their partners before getting married. Younger people who are now cohabitating are children of parents who lived together before they were married. Living together doesn't play the role it use to in deciding if a marriage would likely end up in divorce.