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What do Maryland residents know about co-habitation and divorce?

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If there is one thing in human society that stirs up academic debate and research like nothing else, it is divorce. Who fares better after a divorce? What is the effect of a divorce on children? Are there any specific factors that make it more likely that a couple will eventually divorce? These are all questions that have been asked - and answered, depending on who is asked - multiple times over. But that doesn't stop people from wanting to learn more, and now a recent report detailed the results of a research study that focused on the effect co-habitation prior to marriage can have on the possibility of a couple ultimately going through a divorce.

The results? According to a recent article, co-habitation prior to marriage does not significantly increase the possibility of a divorce. The research study was conducted by taking a look a data from four separate, individual years, between 1995 and 2010.

But hasn't it been said time and time again that co-habitation prior to marriage causes problems in the long run? Yes, it has, but, according to the researchers behind this most recent study, prior reports indicating that co-habitation before marriage was linked to later divorce were incorrect.

In the end, it is probably too hard to say whether or not one factor, like co-habitation, plays a more significant role than others in a couple's ultimate decision to get a divorce. However, one area where co-habitation can play a significant role in a divorce is in the property division phase. If a couple - not married, but living together - accumulates assets with joint ownership prior to marriage, those assets may be subjected to a split in the division of property, even though the property was acquired prior to the marriage. If a couple doesn't live together prior to marriage, it is often easier to determine what property ownership pre-dated the marriage - and thus may not be subject to division.

Source: The Huffington Post, "New Research Says Living Together Before Marriage Doesn't Lead To Divorce," Taryn Hillin, March 11, 2014

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