What’s the relationship between premarital cohabitation and divorce?
Contrary to earlier research (based on smaller samplings), a new study suggests that there isn’t much of a relationship between cohabitation and divorce.
Interestingly, the variable that did have slight statistical significance was the degree of commitment between the cohabitors at the time of moving in together.
Specifically, couples who begin cohabiting prior to becoming engaged or otherwise commiting to future marriage with each other are more likely to divorce if they eventually marry.
On the other hand, couples who move in together only after becoming engaged or making some other mutual commitment to marry each other later have about the same odds of later divorcing as couples who did not cohabit prior to marriage.
This newer study is based on larger samplings, because these days two thirds of married couples live together before tying the knot.
The likelihood of divorce was determined based on a ten year window from the date of marriage.
Earlier studies suggested that cohabitation before marriage actually increased the odds of later divorce.
Read more in this USA Today article: Report: Cohabiting has little effect on marriage success and this New York Daily News article: Living together before marriage doesn’t significantly raise likelihood of divorce: study.