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Research links cohabitation with divorce risk

A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that cohabitation before marriage could increase a couple's chances of getting divorced. There has long been a dispute as to whether the premarital cohabitation effect is real. However, the study authors say that over a long enough period of time, it will have an impact on couples in Connecticut and elsewhere in the country.

The researchers contend that cohabitation before marriage likely decreases the risk of divorce in the first year. However, afterward, the risk of divorce increases for each additional year that the couple is married. One benefit to married couples not living together before marriage is that they have to cooperate to make their household work.

Despite the potential risks associated with cohabitation, those who took part in the Barna Trends 2017 survey approved of cohabitation. Of respondents, 65 percent said that it was a good thing. Furthermore, 57 percent of respondents said that they were living with a romantic partner or had done so in the past. In addition to a possible increased chance of divorce, children born to unmarried parents may fare worse than if the parents were married. This was according to a study published in February 2017 that used data from 100 different countries to draw its conclusions.

If an individual chooses to get a divorce, it may be best to do so with the assistance of an attorney. He or she may help a divorcing individual's emotions in check during the process to create a favorable settlement in a timely manner. An attorney may be helpful whether a person chooses to settle a divorce through mediation, arbitration or litigation. Legal counsel may also review any prenuptial or other agreements created during a marriage.

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