Should You Get Married Or Just Cohabitate?
In the past, cohabitation was a step closer to marriage. Nowadays, many relationships don’t progress past the cohabitation step, as many couples opt to forego marriage altogether.
In fact, among those ages 18-24, cohabitation is more common than marriage. Statistics show that 9% of adults in that age range live with an unmarried partner. This is compared to 7% who are married and living with their spouse. Even older adults are choosing the cohabitation route. In 2018, 15% of people between the ages of 25-34 lived with an unmarried partner. This is an increase from 12% in the previous decade.
What this means is that marriages are on the decline. In 1978, 59% of adults 18-34 years old were married. Today, that number is just 30%. Those who do marry tend to do better financially. Forty percent of married adults ages 18-34 earn more than $40,000. Only 20% of unmarried adults earn that much.
Pros and Cons of Cohabitation
So why are more couples sticking with cohabitation? Why not get married? Here are some reasons why:
- No laws involved. Cohabiting couples are not legally bound to each other, so they can end their relationship any time with ease, without an expensive and nasty divorce.
- Get to know your partner. By cohabiting with your partner, you get to know their routines and habits. You can get a feel for whether you want to stay in the relationship or break up and move on.
There are some cons as well:
- No commitment. Cohabiting couples may not put a lot of work into their relationships because they are not legally committed to them. Therefore, the relationship may be seen as only temporary.
- Lack of sexual restraint. Married couples report better sex because they have a commitment to each other. Those who cohabitate may not take their relationship seriously and therefore have sex with other partners.
Pros and Cons of Marriage
Marriage has some benefits as well.
- Tax benefits. Married couples get more tax deductions, which means things are easier for them financially come tax time.
- Health benefits. Marriage provides emotional support that translates to a lower risk of depression and longer life.
But there are also some downsides:
- It’s expensive. Weddings cost a lot of money. So do divorces. Couples often spend tens of thousands of dollars to enter a marriage, and the same amount of money to get out of one.
- It’s for better or worse. Your marriage vows dictate that you stay with the same person forever, in the good and the bad. While many couples eventually get divorced, some get stuck in unhappy marriages. It’s common to fall out of love and lose attraction to your partner over time.
Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today
Marriage is a huge step. Many couples don’t want to deal with the legal aspects involved with marriage and divorce.
If you are married, ending the relationship can be costly. Get divorce advice from the Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule a consultation. We have two offices to serve you.