Many Americans think that living together before tying the knot is helpful for a relationship. However, one study says that Washington couples who move in together before getting married may actually be more likely to divorce. According to the study, partners who share a home before marriage are more inclined to face difficult issues down the road during marriage. The issue had been noticed in prior studies as well, but some speculated that it would eventually even out as premarital cohabitation became more socially acceptable.
Researchers said that the divorce risk for people who move in together before marriage does decrease in the first year of marriage. When people marry without prior experience of living together, they may have a more difficult time adjusting to married life. However, the study's authors said that in the long term, people who lived together before marriage are more likely to eventually divorce. Researchers based their conclusions on an analysis of data for American women 44 and younger who married for the first time between 1970 and 2015.
The study does raise questions, however. People who choose not to live together before marriage due to their belief systems may also have strong moral stances against divorce. Therefore, the results may reflect simply that people opposed to divorce also choose not to live together before marriage. The study results also included women over a number of years who may have had widely variant experiences.
No matter a couple's living arrangements, marriage can lead to conflicts and serious differences on issues like parenting and finances. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to protect their interests and achieve a fair agreement on issues like property division and child custody.