Does Cohabitation Increase the Risk of Divorce?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Child custody is not limited to divorce cases. Cohabitation, couples living together before marriage, has increased by more than 1,500% in the United States over the last 50 years. The rise of cohabitation, presumed to better your chances of staying married, may actually increase the risk of divorce.

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.

However, a new study shows that couples who cohabit before marriage – before an engagement or other clear commitment – tend to be less satisfied with their marriages, and are more likely to divorce than couples who do not. The negative outcomes in these relationships are called the cohabitation effect.

The article can be found in the New York Times.

Whether you are ending a long term relationship – or marriage – complicated issues arise. This is especially so if children are involved, and one parent wants to move to another state. There is an alphabet soup of state and federal statutes – UCCJEA, FFCCSOA, and UIFSA – which can significantly impact where you can file or modify interstate child custody and child support orders.

Whether you are divorcing, or ending a long-term relationship, it is important you get expert advice on federal and state laws impacting these complicated interstate issues.