For this post, we’re taking a second look at a bit of conventional “wisdom” that has been passed around in recent years. These days, many couples opt to cohabit together before they get married. The idea is that this helps couples feel out whether they are compatible, making marriage a smoother transition. Premarital cohabitation is a popular practice, giving weight to the idea that this approach is effective.
The “Premarital Cohabitation Effect”
However, a recent study has challenged this notion, at least to an extent. Previous researchers had described the “premarital cohabitation effect” as a big reason as to why cohabitation before marriage works. This describes the initial struggles that cohabitating couples face after they get married, which tend to dissipate quickly over time.
The latest study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, asserted that previous researchers were only looking at the short term. Interestingly, their own findings suggested that, while it is true that couples who did not share a living space before marriage struggle more during the first year, their likelihood of getting a divorce is actually less after these critical twelve months.
This poses interesting ramifications for cohabitating couples, and researchers wondered if having to make larger adjustments during a shorter time period could be part of why newly cohabiting spouses are less likely to get divorced in the bigger picture.
That said, statistics are good for looking at a broad picture, not at describing unique, individual situations. Every couple is different and marriages can thrive or fail on a variety of different factors.
If you want to learn more, or if you need to speak with a legal expert on any matter relating to divorce, child custody, or family law in CA, know that you can count on us at the Law Office of James P. White. Feel free to call us at 925-271-0999 to schedule a free initial consultation at your earliest convenience.