Your partners in
Legal Resolution

Serving Central Alabama
Home  Divorce  Is living together before marriage linked to divorce?

Is living together before marriage linked to divorce?

Many people in Alabama and across the country choose to live together before they marry. However, they may be surprised to learn that they could be at a greater risk of divorce as a result according to one study. Previous studies had shown that people who cohabitate before marriage were more likely to divorce, but other scholars noted that this effect appeared to be on the decline as the social stigma against living together before marriage also declined. However, the newer study, examining first-time marriages by American women under 44 between 1970 and 2015, did not show that the divorce rate had declined.

Of course, there are a number of reasons that could lead to these results. While there could be something about living together before marriage that makes couples more likely to divorce, it could also reflect more about the beliefs and values of different couples. People from religions, cultures and traditions that strongly oppose divorce also often strongly oppose living together before marriage. Therefore, the gap may reflect these types of identity differences.

Living together before marriage is widely supported in the United States: Approximately 65 percent of survey respondents indicated that they believed it was a good idea. Only 35 percent disagreed. Most people also put their beliefs into practice as 57 percent of survey respondents said that they lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend at present or had done so in the past.

Whether people choose to live together before marriage or move in together for the first time after taking their vows, marital relationships can be challenging. Couples may discover serious disagreements about major issues like parenting or financial management, and lifestyles can diverge over the years. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse achieve a fair settlement on key issues, including child custody, spousal support and property division.