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Study: Cohabitation before marriage doesn't signal divorce

It used to be common knowledge that couples who lived together prior to getting married were more likely to get a divorce. With more and more couples living together before they walk down the aisle, a new study reveals somewhat unsurprising results: Cohabitation prior to marriage is no longer an accurate predictor of divorce, at least for the most part.

Whether couples were engaged while living together seemed to make a difference in how long the relationship would last, according to the study, which was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to ABC News, researchers interviewed men and women between ages 15 and 44 over a five-year period from 2006 to 2010. About 40 percent were married. Researchers found that couples who lived together before marriage were as likely to see their marriage last at least 15 years as couples who did not live together before marriage.

However, whether a couple was engaged or not seemed to make a difference. Couples who lived together but were not engaged were found to be less likely to stay together for 10 or 15 years than couples who were engaged. That backs up earlier research that found the same thing. Possible reasons include lack of commitment or family histories that make people wary of marriage.

In any case, times are clearly changing. Back in the late 1960s, only about 10 percent of couples lived together before marriage. These days, the number has skyrocketed to 60 percent.

Source: ABC News, "Move-in before marriage no longer predicts divorce," Mike Stobbe, March 22, 2012

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