Couples who live together before they marry are much more likely to divorce

Daily Mail (UK) 30th August 2011

Couples who live together before they marry are ‘significantly’ more likely to end up divorced, says a report by a Christian think-tank. The Jubilee Centre, a social reform group with a Christian perspective, said that living together had become ‘a more fragile state of relationship than ever before’. It said that couples who cohabited before marriage were 45 per cent more likely to split than those who waited until after the wedding. The report by Dr John Hayward and Dr Guy Brandon said: ‘Despite the popularity of cohabitation and its relationship to marriage, it is also the case that marriages that start with a period of prior cohabitation are significantly more prone to divorce than those that do not. ‘Where there has been a previous cohabitation with a separate person by one of both partners, the likelihood of divorce soars.’ Couples who never marry are six times more likely to split by the time their first child is five, it added. ‘This suggests that cohabitation is now being treated somewhat differently to the way it was in the 1960s and 70s,’ said the report, Cohabitation: An Alternative to Marriage? The data was based on 14,103 households and 22,265 adults.