New Study on Cohabitation and Divorce

A new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology reveals that couples that live together before they get married are more likely to end in divorce. Where does that leave you?

Couples without a clear commitment to marriage slide into marriage.

This study indicates that couples without a clear commitment to marriage before they begin cohabiting tend to slide into marriage, because it’s easier and seems to be expected when you’ve been cohabiting for a length of time. Unfortunately, these couples don’t have the same commitment to marriage that couples who marry before cohabitation display, so relationships aren’t as committed and long-lasting.

Study provokes hot disputes.

While the study results seem clear and closed to dispute, the results are still hotly contested by couples that have successfully married after cohabitation. For all the study results, you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence of people who begin by living together and go on to get married and lead long and happy lives together. Conversely, you’ll find divorced individuals who didn’t live together before marriage and regret it bitterly, because they feel they would have found out more about their spouses by living together before marriage and would have avoided marriage altogether.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

As with most controversial topics, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. The Journal of Family Psychology study was informal; study organizers only polled 1,000 people by phone polls. Opponents argue that this sample size isn’t large or diverse enough to include a truly representative sample, and disagree with study findings.

Again, anecdotal evidence and my experience as a divorce attorney would bear this out; you see people from all circumstances and all walks of life in happy marriages and divorces alike. There’s very little rhyme or reason for predicting whether or not a marriage will work out.

Divorce happens; frequently, in fact.

With something like 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s a fact of life. Divorce happens. One out of two marriages ends in divorce. That’s a sobering number, but it’s all the more important for you to make sure you handle your divorce well. If you don’t do the right things during your divorce, it can end up haunting you for years afterwards; this is where an experienced divorce attorney can help you out.