Kennedy Law Associates

Divorce and living together before marriage

North Carolina couples may be interested in a recent study indicating that couples who decide to cohabitate before getting married have a higher chance of getting a divorce. The study examines the premarital cohabitation effect, a topic that has been the subject of research by social scientists for many years; it is considered to be a real phenomenon in that two people who reside together before marriage tend to have more complications during marriage.

The authors determined that the struggles of the couples after they get married correlate to a greater risk of getting divorced. The authors assert that researchers who have previously reasoned that the cohabitation effect no longer existed were biased and examined short-term effects instead of long-term implications.

The authors contend that couples who decide to get married without first living together experience an immediate and more significant shock that leads them to negotiate after marriage. As a result, these couples experience a short-term increased risk compared to couples who opted to live together before marriage.

Believing that residing with a significant other before marriage can lower the chances of having a successful marriage tends to go against reason. However, there is actually little proof to indicate that couples who cohabitate before marriage have a better chance of having successful marriages.

The study results also indicate that residing together before marriage is associated with the reduced likelihood of divorce only in the initial year of marriage. For the couples who were tested over several decades, the likelihood of divorce tended to increase every other year.

A family law attorney may work with clients to determine the best legal strategy to pursue to resolve divorce legal issues. Litigation might be used to protect the rights of clients and obtain the desired settlement terms.

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