Monday, 11 June 2012

Does cohabitation before marriage make you more likely to divorce?

In all divorce cases, an issue to establish at the outset is the length of the relationship. This can impact upon the amount of the financial settlement. If a couple initially cohabit and then move seamlessly into marriage, the total length of the relationship is considered by the court.

Cohabitation has become the norm. According to the Daily Mail, since 2001, the number of cohabiting couples in Britain has risen dramatically from 2.1 million to 2.9million — and around 80 per cent of us cohabit before marriage.

There are many reasons why couples are more likely to live together first and the majority are not romantic. Many cannot afford to purchase a property on their own and therefore look to join funds. Others wish to test their relationship by living together first. It is suggested that women are more likely to want to cohabit to feel more secure whereas men are more likely to cohabit to put off commitment. Ultimately, many couples then decide to marry.

There may therefore already be cracks in the relationship and the couple mistakenly believes that marriage will resolve those issues. In reality, the relationship has failed and the couple has simply papered over the cracks.

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