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Age, cohabitation and the chances of divorce

Every generation has a different opinion on what constitutes appropriate relationship behaviors between couples. While unmarried couples living in Gig Harbor around fifty years ago may have been given suspicious stares if they chose to live together before marriage, today the practice of cohabitation is ubiquitous across Washington and the rest of the nation.

Researchers who study social sciences previously believed that living together before marriage may have been a risk factor for a couple later going through a divorce, but a new study refutes that belief. According to these recent reports, the age at which a couple moves in together may have more to do with their chances for avoiding marital dissolution.

Generally, the study found that couples who moved in together or who got married at age 23 or later were less likely to later divorce than couples who cohabitated or married before their 23rd birthdays. Another strong factor that still seems to contribute to the end of a marriage is whether the couple finds itself contending with an unplanned child.

Though 23-years-old is by no means old, it does represent an age when college-attending adults may have finished their post-secondary degrees. Individuals with higher levels education tend to secure higher paying jobs which in turn make living with and supporting partners an easier endeavor.

As the current generation continues to embrace cohabitation, the next fifty years of social science research on marriage may yield more interesting and divergent studies on divorce. Only time will tell if current trends in relationship security hold as Americans move farther into the twenty-first century.

Source: TIME, "How Shacking Up Before Marriage Affects a Relationship's Success," Belinda Luscombe, March 12, 2014

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