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Does premarital cohabitation make divorce more likely?

Couples throughout Texas choose to live together before marrying, and in the past, studies have suggested a link between divorce and cohabitation before marriage. However, a recent paper challenges this view, showing no correlation between cohabitation and divorce rates when age is taken into account.

Using the National Survey of Family Growth, the sociologist responsible for the study compared data on more than 7,000 individuals from across the United States. At some point, each of these individuals had been married, and presumably some of them still were.

The findings indicate that about two-thirds of newly married couples in the U.S. lived together before they got married. The study also suggested that there may be a significant correlation between the age at which a person starts cohabitating and the likelihood of that person later divorcing.

However, the fact that someone had cohabitated did not appear to have an effect on the likelihood that he or she would divorce.

Many factors can cause married couples to grow apart, ranging from the stresses of a busy lifestyle to a spouse’s infidelity. Various studies have sought to identify the more common causes leading to the end of a marriage, but ultimately every relationship is different.

Whatever the reason, sometimes ending a marriage and starting anew is the healthiest option for both parties. Texas couples considering a marital split should be aware of their legal rights with regard to marital property, child custody and spousal support. These matters can be difficult to address in the midst of marital strife, but a divorce can help clarify the available options.

Source: Fox News, "Cohabitation doesn't cause divorce after all," Stephanie Pappas, March 10, 2014

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