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Does cohabitation before marriage stop divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Divorce

Opinions on cohabitation before marriage have always been split, but there’s definitely been a change in recent years. It is now very common for couples to live together before getting married, or to live together without getting married at all. Older generations did this as well, but not as often. Modern couples have paved a new way. 

While there are many schools of thought on this, one thing that people will say is that they want to try out living together before officially getting married. They’re worried that the relationship isn’t going to work once they have to share a home and that they would just have to get divorced. They think that cohabitating in advance will lower the odds of a future divorce. But is this actually true?

Cohabitation may increase your odds of divorce

The truth is that living with your partner before you get married, despite how common it is, may increase your odds of divorce, not lower them. Studies have found that divorce is approximately 1.3 times more common for couples who did so.

Additionally, cohabitating before marriage can make an eventual divorce more complicated. You may consider items that the two of you purchased when you were living together to be marital assets. But if they were purchased before you were married, then they may actually be a separate property that you each brought to the marriage. This can complicate the property division process. 

Are you heading for divorce now?

With cohabitation becoming more common, that could also indicate a future increase in divorce cases. If you do end up getting divorced, since your situation could be more complex than it would be otherwise, it’s very wise to understand all of your legal options.