Posted on Apr 07, 2014

The number of couples who live together before marriage has reportedly increased about 900 percent over the last fifty years. Dozens of studies completed in the last few decades have indicated that couples who live together before marriage are significantly more likely to divorce. However, a new study completed by the Council on Contemporary Families finds little connection between couples who live together before marriage and those that don’t when it comes to divorce.

What the Study Found

According to the study’s authors it is not cohabitation before marriage that leads to an increased chance of divorce, but more specific factors about some couples who live together before marriage. Specifically, couples who live together before marriage and who do so when they are younger than 23 may be more likely to divorce. According to researchers, couples under the age of 23:

  • May not choose compatible partners
  • May not act in ways that are able to sustain long term relationships
  • May never complete college
  • May move in together faster in order to share living expenses and not because of their relationship

Living together before marriage is a national trend. The Council on Contemporary Families found that couples have lived together for an average of 31 months prior to marriage in about two-thirds of new marriages.

This research will be published in the April 2014 edition of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Do you have friends or relatives concerned about living together before marriage or wondering about the cause of their Seattle divorce? Please share this article on Facebook or Twitter to give them more information about this recent study.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington