New numbers were released this week that showed marriage is at an all-time low in the United States, with just 51 percent of Americans deciding to tie the knot. Now, a new study has examined exactly why younger couples are deciding to live together but not get married.

Here are the results of the study, which was published in Family Relations:

  • Two out of three couples said that they were not marrying because they feared the consequences of divorce, such as the emotional pain, the high cost, and the legal trouble.
  • A significant number of lower-income women responded that marriage was simply not a good deal for them: it would make it harder to leave the relationship and would lead to more domestic responsibilities.
  • Middle-class cohabiting couples explained that living together for a few years before marriage was a good way to solidify their relationship.
  • Working-class couples were more likely to see marriage as a nominal step – just a piece of paper.

Researchers hope the information will help pre-marital counselors understand the fears of divorce that many marrying couples have – and that the divorce study will help us better understand how the high divorce rates of the last generation are affecting the choices of this generation.

Do you need information about Washington State divorce law or the legal assistance of a Bellevue family law attorney? Contact Molly Kenny today.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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