Sociological science is the study of human behavior and interactions, and there is nothing that fits better into this definition than intimate relationships and the analysis of marital trends. Sociologists with the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found that a new trend is emerging when it comes to marriage after divorce.
According to the recent study, individuals who are either widowed or divorced are choosing cohabitation over saying “I Do” for a second time. In fact, the sociologists in Ohio found that the rate of remarriage has dropped by an incredible 40 percent over the past two decades.
For some couples, the daily affirmation of staying together without a binding legal document is what proves and strengthens their commitment to one another. For others, they simply are concerned about the likelihood that their next serious relationship would last well into the future. Even others see the institution of marriage as too legally constricting.
“Cohabitation has opened up options for people that weren’t there 20 years ago,” said Susan Brown, the lead author of the study. “It affords the benefits of marriage without the legal constraints.”
While that statement is partially true, it isn’t exactly accurate when it comes to the end of a relationship. The thing is that cohabitating couples are living life as if they were married. They are buying houses together, having kids, making investments, preparing for retirement and much more. Without those “legal constraints,” a partner could be left with little to no legal protection in the division of property should the pair decided to separate.
Cohabitating partners are not granted the same property protections that a spouse would be entitled to under Ohio law. One way to help protect against negative consequences is to enter into a cohabitation agreement with the assistance of a family law attorney.
Source: USA Today, “Remarriage rate declining as more opt for cohabitation,” Sharon Jayson, Sept. 12, 2013