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Living together before marriage does not impact divorce rate

Living together prior to marriage is common for many couples in Ohio, and throughout the country. In fact, a recent study showed that approximately 60 percent of couples live together prior to marriage. Of those individuals, the couples that were engaged and cohabitating prior to marriage were no more likely to get a divorce within 15 years than those who did not live together prior to marriage.

Close to 50 percent of first marriages fail to make it to the 20-year anniversary, according to nationwide statistics. A recent study, conducted by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at multiple marriage trends across racial groups and educational levels. They found that Asian women were most likely to stay married, with 70 percent still in their first marriage at 20 years.

Of those who lived together prior to marriage without engagement, a larger number ended in divorce. Researchers suggest that this higher divorce rate could be due to family histories or changing attitudes toward relationships. However, there was no definitive answer as to why the couples were more likely to divorce.

While the study did not directly address divorce rates across differing income levels, it was noted that those with college degrees typically defer marriage until a later age and remain married for at least 20 years when they do tie the knot.

If Ohio couple begins to consider dissolving their marriage, whether the couple lived together or not, a divorce may be considered. Regardless of the length of the marriage, divorcing couples typically address similar issues regarding property division, spousal maintenance, child custody and child support when minor children are involved. Though each case depends upon its own facts and circumstances, the longer a couple was together before they divorce may mean there are more complex assets to divide as they work to negotiate a fair and complete property division settlement.

Source: NorthwestOhio.com, "Move-in before marriage no longer predicts divorce," March 22, 2012

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