Does Cohabitation Before Marriage Increase the Likelihood of Divorce?

February 8, 2021

A couple generations ago, cohabitation before marriage was uncommon and even frowned upon. In recent years, society has become more accepting of differing lifestyles. Nowadays, it is common for people to cohabitate, whether they intend to marry or not. However, studies suggest that couples who live together before the wedding may be less likely to last in marriage.

Why Do Couples Cohabitate Before Marriage?

Many modern couples move in together for practical reasons. Sometimes, high costs of living influence couples to live together. Some couples value the convenience. Many couples use cohabitation as an experiment to test the future marital arrangement. Adults today are more likely to have lived with a romantic partner at some point in their lives.

Nowadays, people are also more understanding of financial circumstances. Another factor that has become more acceptable is that couples are putting off marriage. First marriages now occur more commonly for people between 20 to 30 years old. Generations ago, people typically married at younger ages, including in their teenage years.

What Did the Recent Study Show?

According to an article in Psychology Today, living together before marriage is associated with a higher risk of divorce. A 2019 investigation, which appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF), reports that regardless of the recent changes to public opinion, data indicates that cohabitation is linked to an increase in divorce rates. However, each relationship is different, and the data relates to overall trends. It is certainly possible for married couples who have lived together before the wedding to remain married for life. Based on the data presented in the study, the risk of divorce is higher for previously cohabitating couples. According to the information, divorce was 1.31 times more likely for women who lived with their partner before marriage.

According to the study, couples who cohabitated before marriage were actually less likely to divorce within the first year compared to other spouses. In the first year, the rate of divorce is high for couples who are adjusting to living together. However, after the first year, the rate of divorce increased for women who had cohabitated with their spouse prior to the marriage.

If one is planning to divorce, having legal representation will ensure that one’s interests are protected.

Chester County Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Guide Their Clients Throughout the Divorce Process

Studies suggest that cohabitation can increase the rate of divorce, but many factors contribute as well. If you are seeking a divorce, a Chester County divorce lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you. Complete our online form or call us at 610-565-3701 for an initial consultation today. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.