Thinking about marriage and divorce prior to a marriage may seem odd, especially when a couple has not spoken about marriage. However, having a conversation about marriage and life can be key to helping couples avoid divorce later in life.
The non-marriage cohabitating trend
Over the past two decades, there has been a trend in non-marriage cohabitating (i.e., couples living together before, or in lieu of, getting married). Indeed, research from the Office for National Statistics proves this anecdotal trend, and they found that from 2008 to 2018, the non-marriage cohabitation trend increased by over 25 percent. According to experts, this is a much higher percentage than the decreasing number of people marrying during this time.
The reasons behind this trend
There are many reasons for this surge in non-marriage cohabitation, but a primary driver is likely financial. The year 2008 was rocked with the beginning of one of the greatest economic depressions since the Great Depression. However, the cost of living and housing prices have only increased during that time, including a wild spike over the last 12 to 24 months. This has meant that it just made financial sense to move in together. After all, most couples end up spending most of their time at one spouse’s home, and it does not make sense to pay for two separate spaces when the couple can only use one space at a time.
The issue with non-marriage cohabitation
While the non-marriage cohabitation trend itself is not an issue, how couples enter these arrangements can be an issue. According to experts, non-marriage cohabitation can actually increase the likelihood of divorce after five years. This is because many spouses never have a frank and honest conversations about what they want from their life, and as a result, they often find out they want wildly divergent things from life after they are married.
The solution: talk about the future
Prior to letting one’s lease expire and packing up the U-Haul, sit down together and talk about what each partner wants out of life. Think about the big questions and be completely honest and transparency. Talk about where each other wants to be in five years, whether marriage is in the future, kids (if one wants them and when), career and family priorities, ideal living arraignments and place, etc. These are all keys to ensure that a couple enters marriage life on the best foot possible. Though, if one is already done with their marriage, call a Rockville, Maryland, Washington, D.C. metro area, divorce attorney.