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Study Says Cohabitation is on the Rise


According to a report by the National Marriage Project, the number of unmarried couples who live together is on the rise. Between 1960 and 2008 "unmarried cohabitation" increased more than twelvefold. The term unmarried cohabitation is applied to couples who "are sexual partners, not married to each other, and sharing a household."

Unmarried cohabitation is becoming more and more common, particularly among young couples. The report estimates that about ¼ of unmarried women between ages 25 and 39 live with a partner, and that another ¼ of women have lived with a partner at some point in their life without being married.

The study also states that more than half of first-time marriages are preceded by the couple living together first. Fifty years ago almost no couples lived together before getting married.

Cohabitation as an Alternative to Marriage

While some couples live together with plans to get married in the future, others look at cohabitation as an alternative to marriage. If you and your partner have chosen to live together but not get married, you may want to consider drafting a cohabitation agreement. Cohabitation agreements are drafted to protect the rights of both parties, should the relationship eventually end or one party pass away. A cohabitation agreement can clearly outline property rights and other important issues, much the same way a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement does.