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Cohabitation before Marriage Increases Divorce Rate

Sunday, 22 May 2011

blog-logoWe’ve all heard the reasoning behind choosing cohabitation instead of rushing into marriage; all the practical speculation that is nothing more than a list of excuses to avoid commitment.  But with a recent Time Magazine cover story asking “Who Needs Marriage,” and statistics showing young adults have stopped believing in the age-old institution, some divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs began to wonder if this would impact their job security. 

It’s funny how everyone has a different angle on cohabitation.  People of faith see it as more evidence that our society is in a rapid state of moral decline, and yet young couples find it liberating to be able to “play house” without the burden of society’s expectations or the "entanglement" of a legal marriage contract.  After all, everyone is doing it, right?  This common rationale may not be needed as an “excuse” if society has truly lost its moral compass, but the results of a study about the “cohabitation effect” have revealed some startling trends about cohabitation and divorce.

With more than 60 percent of all American couples cohabitating prior to marriage, it was high time someone examined whether this lifestyle has really reduced the number of divorces.  In other words, will divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs need to start looking for a job soon? Interestingly, the answer is no.  In fact, when surveyed about the effect that cohabitation before marriage had on married couples and their ability to stay together, the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that couples who cohabitate prior to their engagement are less likely to stay married for 10 years or more than couples who never cohabitate. In other words, it looks like cohabitation actually decreases your chance of staying married more than 10 years, provided that you actually do make it down the aisle.

If you end up needing the services of Colorado Springs divorce lawyers this year, then it is very possible that the decision to divorce will have been influenced by whether you lived with your spouse prior to marriage.  One reason for this, according to a researcher from University of Denver, is the “inertia” that can develop in a relationship when a couple is cohabitating.  Because they know they haven’t yet “signed up” for the long haul, they tend to be more self-centered and less concerned about keeping their partner happy.  Sometimes they feel pressured into an eventual marriage because of the practical and economic “constraints” they have placed on themselves through cohabitation.  Neither of these are a good foundation for a happy marriage.

Whatever the reason for your Colorado divorce or separation, the Marrison Family Law LLC’s experienced team of divorce lawyers in Colorado Springs is ready to help you with every detail.

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