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The idea that moving in together before marriage is a recipe for divorce is becoming more antiquated than ever, new research shows.In “First Marriages in the U.S.,” the CDC surveyed more than 22,000 men and women to see how many wound up getting divorced between 2006 and 2010. It turns out cohabitation is “not playing as big a role in predicting divorce as it used to,” according to Casey Copen, lead author of the study.
There are two reasons for this: Cohabitation is more common than it’s ever been before, especially as many couples hunker down together in order to cut the rising cost of living.
Compared to 1960s when 10 per cent of couples lived together before marrying, nearly 60 per cent of today’s households are co-habitating.
Additionally, the rate of marriage itself has slowed – down to 40 per cent of women and men between 15 and 44 years old, the CDC found.
But there’s still a grain of truth in the old way of thinking. If couples weren’t engaged before moving in together, the chance their first marriage would pass the 10- to 15-year mark were much lower.
There’s plenty to consider before moving in with your partner, and it’s not all about whether you’re prepared for joint bank accounts. If you eventually split up – whether you were together 10 months or 10 years – you won’t be able to claim any rights as a spouse.
For that, we’d suggest signing a cohabitation agreement. It’s a lot like a prenup or a will, but can’t be changed once both parties have signed on the dotted line. That means you’ll be protected and you won’t risk having your ex write you off if things turn sour.