For decades, people have wondered whether living together before tying the knot increases or decreases the risk of divorce. Some say that living together first gives couples the opportunity to truly get to know each other, while others claim point to studies, including a recent one, that claim that cohabitation actually increases the chances of marriage dissolution. Yet, there still appear to be discrepancies with regard to how cohabitation affects marriage.
One reason cited by researchers is because the data doesn't always account for a couple's long-term intent when they move in together. For example, those couples who move in after getting engaged know that they are committing themselves to a long-term relationship. Other couples, though, may move in together only to argue about the future of their relationship when expectations clash.
While there are numerous studies on the topic, many of which are discussed here, the truth of the matter is that each case is unique. There are a variety of factors that can play into the success of a relationship, whether it results in cohabitation, marriage, or both. Regardless of how individuals choose to approach their relationships, though, there are steps they can take to make sure that they are protecting themselves as fully as possible given the circumstances.
Cohabitation and prenuptial agreements are two examples of how legal action can be taken to protect people's interests prior to committing to anything long-term. Although some view these legal documents as planning for failure, they actually release restrictions on a couple, thereby allowing them to focus on their relationship without fear of how it will financially affect them in the event that their relationship ends.
While looking at studies like those linked to above can be interesting, if you are facing family law issues, then the only statistic you're concerned with are those that directly affect you. This is why it may be best for you to speak with a skilled attorney who can help guide you through whatever it is that you are facing.