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Think Before you Move-In

Kalamazoo Mediation by Jeff Murphy

A recent study showed that couples who began their lives together by co-habiting before marriage had a higher rate of divorce than those who waited until the knot was tied. (The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage-nytimes.com)

Considering that 50% of all marriages already end in divorce, it seems counter-intuitive that having a “test-run” would cause even more break-ups.

Most “20-somethings” think it makes sense to live together before taking the plunge. But the evidence is different. It seems that in reality, people have a lower standard for moving in than they do for making a “Death Do Us Part” commitment. Couples think that co-habitation is a low risk choice with an easy way out if it doesn’t work.

But it doesn’t happen that way. Once the relationship is underway, (it usually starts with a few and then frequent sleepovers, followed by a decision to save money and have one pad), it becomes almost as difficult to end as does a traditional marriage. There is property to be divided, and there may even be children to be supported. Also, there’s a problem of admitting a mistake was made. So the couple slides into a marriage that would never have taken place if the hard question, “Do I want to commit to this person for the rest of my life?”had been asked before they stated down the slippery slope.

So-think before you move-in.

                        author

Jeff Murphy

Jeff Murphy is a trained mediator and an attorney with over 35 years of business, civil and commercial legal experience. He was born and raised in New York CIty where he attended Columbia and Fordham. He ventured westward to join The Upjohn Company years ago and served as Senior Counsel… MORE >

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