With more than half of first marriages breaking up within twenty years, would couples be better off living together first?
In the past, living together before marriage was a sign that, if the couple did marry, there was a good chance the marriage would be unsuccessful and the couple would divorce. However, according to a new study, this is no longer true.
Back in the 1960’s, only about ten percent of couples lived together before marrying. Now, in the United States, about sixty percent of couples cohabitate before marriage. According to Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University in Ohio, the trend has become so common, that “it’s not surprising it no longer negatively affects marital stability.”
The study conducted by the university found those who were engaged and living together before the wedding were just as likely to have marriages that lasted fifteen years as those who hadn’t lived together. However, the study also found that those who lived together without being engaged were less likely to survive the 10-15 year mark in their marriage. Probable reasons for these statistics include more lax attitudes about commitment, lower education levels or family histories that made these couples more pessimistic about marriage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the following statistics for marriage:
- Nearly half of all marriages break up within twenty years.
- Those women and men with bachelor’s degrees were more likely to delay marriage, but also were more likely to eventually get married and stay married for at least twenty years.
- Asian women were the most likely to be in a first marriage that lasted at least twenty years. Nearly 70 percent of Asian women were still in their first marriage, compared to 54 percent of white women, 53 percent of Hispanic women, and 37 percent of Black women.
- Among men, 62 percent of Hispanics were still in their first marriage at 20 years, compared to 54 percent of whites and 53 percent of blacks. There were no statistics for Asian men in the study.
It appears then that whether a couple lives together or not before marriage, there is a good chance their marriage may still end in divorce. Whenever a couple considers divorce, there are many issues that need to be considered. No matter whether a divorce case involves a complex property division issue, or a contested custody dispute, an experienced Arizona divorce attorney would not only defend your rights, but would pursue the best possible outcome on behalf of your divorce case.