Is It a Good Idea to Live Together Before Getting Married?

Couple Unpacking

Being in love can be one of the most thrilling and invigorating things you ever experience. When you’re in a loving relationship with someone, it can be tempting to move in together. However, it isn’t always the best idea.

In the past, it was not socially acceptable to live with your partner before marriage. However, social norms have changed and cohabitation is very common for couples. In fact, about 60 percent of new marriages are preceded by cohabitation.

Living together can influence the future of a marital union. Studies have shown that married couples who had cohabited prior to marriage reported lower levels of marital satisfaction and were more likely to divorce. If you want to do everything in your power to promote a marriage that's strong and secure, you shouldn’t jump into any situation mindlessly or impulsively.

Cohabitation and Commitment

A lot of times couples will alternate between each other's household and realize that it is easier and cheaper to just live together. It also allows them to see whether they are compatible, almost like a trial run for what married life is like.

Living together can lead to all sorts of confrontations and hassles. If you're not 100 percent acquainted with the ins and outs of your future spouse's personality and behavioral patterns, you may end up feeling frustrated and out of sorts. Or they might put on a front of who they really are and how they actually live because they are afraid of how their partner will react. They continue to do this because there isn’t an actual commitment. They can always back out of the engagement or move out.

However, when they actually get married, they start to let their guard down. This is when problems begin to occur. Couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce and tend to be less satisfied with their marriage. These problems are called the cohabitation effect. Each person has to be committed to making marriage work, which isn’t always easy. Otherwise, they risk staying in an unhappy relationship or they have to go through the difficult and expensive process of getting a divorce.

How to Make Cohabitation Work

Cohabitation can be detrimental to a marriage, but it doesn’t have to be. There are things couples can do to protect their relationship from the consequences of living together before getting married.

For couples who are already cohabiting, they need to be honest and open with one another. If expectations are not being met, couples need to effectively communicate their opinions with each other, and be willing to compromise. Doing so will lead to fewer arguments and make the overall experience better for everyone.

If a couple is thinking about whether they want to move in together, they first need to discuss their motivations and expectations of living together. Often times, couples will slide into cohabitation without really talking about what it means for the future of their relationship. One person might view living together as a step towards marriage, while the other might see it as a way to postpone a deeper commitment. Instead, each person needs to be clear about their plans for their relationship.

Protect Your Premarital Assets

When couples get engaged and decide to move in together, they might want to think about getting a prenuptial agreement. While no one enters a marriage thinking they will get divorced, it’s always a good idea to plan for the future. A prenuptial agreement can protect each spouse and promote healthy communications about finances in a marriage.

If you are engaged and want to ensure that your premarital assets are protected, contact The Law Offices of Jonny Kousa, P.L. in Coconut Creek, Florida for more information about prenuptial agreements. Our Family Law Attorney Jonny Kousa can assist you in preparing a prenuptial agreement that fits your needs.

Contact us today at (954) 626-8071 to speak with our Coconut Creek Family Law Attorney.