www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Thanking God for teachers -8/27/2014, 8:22 AM

Bowers selected as 2014 CSG Toll Fellow -8/26/2014, 2:04 PM

Water vision draft survey developed -8/26/2014, 1:55 PM

Governor proclaims campus fire safety month -8/26/2014, 11:04 AM

Leadership class visits Kansas City -8/26/2014, 10:55 AM

Take KDOT along on your fall travels -8/26/2014, 10:45 AM

The meeting of boy and girl turns into husband and wife for Yoders -8/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Free screenings offered for children -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

2014 survey shows motorists continue to pass stopped buses -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

Authoritative parenting has pluses for adolescents -8/25/2014, 8:34 AM

What you see is (not) what you get -8/24/2014, 2:30 PM

Public record, Aug. 22, 2014 -8/22/2014, 6:53 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 24, 2014) -8/22/2014, 2:30 PM

The journey often is part of the gift -8/22/2014, 8:44 AM

Bucks rewarded to drivers who buckle up -8/21/2014, 10:55 AM

A look back at the early years -8/19/2014, 9:01 AM

Parenting adolescents through stages of life crucial -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Weed control on rangelands -- Part III -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 17, 2014) -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Church should help mentally ill -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Final 4-H recipe from Ellis County Fair is a winner -8/14/2014, 9:09 AM

Great Bend resident appointed Rotary District Governor -8/14/2014, 9:08 AM

Remembering the start of school back in the good ol' days -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is uninspiring -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

Actor, comedian Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide -8/11/2014, 8:38 PM

Adolescents' actions vary depending on parenting style -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

Clubs and meetings -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

Weed control on rangeland -- Part II -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 10, 2014) -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

HaysMed doctor named to school wall of honor -8/10/2014, 3:18 PM

Bringing children to Christ -8/8/2014, 7:54 AM

Learning to get along together -8/8/2014, 7:54 AM

KDOT announces approved July bids -8/8/2014, 6:12 PM

Logan craft fair is Aug. 16 -8/7/2014, 8:23 AM

August full of milestones, library activities -8/7/2014, 8:14 AM

Beware of potentially harmful canning mistakes -8/7/2014, 8:14 AM

Senior Companions celebrate 40th anniversary -8/6/2014, 8:59 AM

Public record, Aug. 4, 2014 -8/4/2014, 7:56 AM

Birthday -8/2/2014, 8:05 AM

Heaven holds many mysteries -8/1/2014, 9:07 AM

Hays After 5 women's group will meet Aug. 11 -8/1/2014, 9:07 AM

Public record (July 29, 2014) -7/29/2014, 8:15 AM

Gerstner: I don't love 'Lucy,' but have seen worse -7/29/2014, 8:15 AM

Disaster training exercise scheduled for Kansas cities -7/28/2014, 12:32 PM

Kansas children asked to draw posters for contest -7/28/2014, 12:32 PM

Many options available to help victims of abuse -7/28/2014, 9:03 AM

Victims of violence need help from supporters -7/21/2014, 8:10 AM

Vision Dance Company brings home honors -7/20/2014, 6:43 PM

Get control of weeds in wheat stubble -7/20/2014, 11:19 AM

Business Briefcase (July 20, 2014) -7/20/2014, 11:19 AM

Horse owners encouraged to watch horses for VS -7/18/2014, 2:34 PM

Kansas Lottery sales set new record in FY2014 -7/18/2014, 3:58 PM

Celebration VBS begins Monday -7/18/2014, 9:56 AM

ELL strategies workshop to equip area teachers for diverse classrooms -7/17/2014, 8:47 AM

Admissions at FHSU partners with advanced English class -7/17/2014, 7:43 AM

Political science degree program at FHSU ranks No. 11 -7/17/2014, 7:43 AM

Music offers many benefits, so sing out -7/16/2014, 2:26 PM

Words of 'wit and wisdom' from days gone by -7/16/2014, 2:26 PM

Public record (July 14, 2014) -7/15/2014, 10:27 AM

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' shines -7/15/2014, 8:32 AM

Different strategies can help victims deal with violence -7/14/2014, 9:56 AM

Public record (July 9, 2014) -7/8/2014, 10:28 AM

'Tammy' is every kind of bad -7/8/2014, 7:57 AM

Smaller number of men victims of domestic violence -7/7/2014, 8:44 AM

Hays After 5 to celebrate 38 years -7/4/2014, 9:37 AM

Hope for today: Remember to mind your manners -7/4/2014, 9:28 AM

Celebrating rain, national ice cream month -7/3/2014, 9:28 AM

Honey, don't forget the (healthy) vacation snacks -7/3/2014, 9:28 AM

'Transformers: Age of Extinction' arrives with a soulless, explosion-packed dud for the viewer's eye -7/1/2014, 1:25 PM

Fourth of July fireworks safety tips -6/29/2014, 2:19 PM

FHSU alumnus and chapter of year recognized for service -6/29/2014, 2:19 PM

Animal health considerations for cows fed in confinement -6/29/2014, 4:03 PM

Business Briefcase (June 29, 2014) -6/29/2014, 4:03 PM

Summer interns participate in community service day -6/29/2014, 4:03 PM

Creep feeding or early weaning when forage is limited -6/22/2014, 1:58 PM

Galaxy, Kansas Aviation win top biz honors -6/22/2014, 1:58 PM

Business Briefcase (June 22, 2014) -6/22/2014, 1:58 PM

Where are you in your financial plan? -6/17/2014, 10:55 AM

Wheatland center receives award -6/15/2014, 2:28 PM

Business Briefcase (June 15, 2014) -6/15/2014, 2:28 PM

Dave says: Take the Roth -6/10/2014, 10:45 AM

Pregnancy testing cow herd pays off in the long run -6/8/2014, 2:21 PM

Summer events scheduled at the Hays Recreation Center -6/1/2014, 11:14 AM

Overbey heading home to eastern Kansas -5/25/2014, 10:43 AM

Don't ignore those honey-locust trees in pastures -5/25/2014, 10:43 AM

Elementary school movie reviews -5/20/2014, 8:47 AM

When to castrate calves could affect weight later on -5/18/2014, 1:43 PM

Business Briefcase (May 11, 2014) -5/18/2014, 1:43 PM

News from North Central Kansas Technical College -5/11/2014, 4:04 PM

Evaluate risk for delayed rebreeding as a stockman -5/11/2014, 4:04 PM

Heaven is for real -5/9/2014, 9:59 AM

Students help with shelter's landscape -5/8/2014, 3:58 PM

Birthday -5/8/2014, 3:58 PM

Planning funerals in advance makes decisions easier -5/8/2014, 3:58 PM

Barton College offers summer outreach programs -5/4/2014, 2:23 PM

Controlling parasites essential for healthy calves -5/4/2014, 2:22 PM

La Crosse woman completes beef training -5/4/2014, 2:41 PM

Business Briefcase (May 4, 2014) -5/4/2014, 2:40 PM

Monahan takes Franciscan vows -5/2/2014, 8:39 AM

D of I recognizes long-time members -5/2/2014, 8:39 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Shacking up can lead to higher divorce rates in some cases

Published on -4/29/2013, 8:50 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

This is the first in a series about understanding cohabitation and its relationship to marriage and divorce.

Q. What is cohabitation, and how did it develop?

A. Cohabitation is defined as two unmarried persons living together. Historically, that has meant persons of the opposite sex. Prior to 1970, cohabitation was illegal in all states. Living together commonly was referred to as living-in-sin or shacking up, obviously negative connotations.

Cohabitors used to be the rebels, the rule breakers and the risk takers. Two or three decades ago, cohabitating first, followed by marriage, made divorce more likely than if couples did not cohabitate first. Circumstances are different today. Cohabitation has increased 1,150 percent in the last 40 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there were 439,000 cohabitors in 1960, 2.9 million in 1990 and 5.5 million in 2000.

An article from USA Today points out contemporary research from surveys and polls. Not all cohabitation makes couples more likely to divorce. A study of 6,577 women married between 1970 and 1995, conducted by Joy Teachman from Western Washington University, showed women who cohabitated only with their husbands before marriage had no greater risk of divorce than women who did not cohabit before marriage. However, women who lived with persons other than their future husbands did have higher risks of divorce.

A study by Daniel Lichter, sociologist from Cornell University in New York, found a different result. His research revealed women who cohabited only with their future husbands had a divorce rate 28 percent lower than women who did not cohabit before marriage. (Thus, Lichter's research showed cohabiting with future husbands only produced better marital outcomes than marriage with no cohabitation.)

Lichter also found divorce rates for women who cohabited with others besides their future husbands had divorce rates twice as high as those for women who cohabited only with their future husbands. Furthermore, the couples who cohabited after engagement or after they had decided to marry did not appear to experience any negative effects in marriage.

After 1970, when cohabitation no longer was illegal, it evolved through several legal changes. Some states defined cohabitation as common law if it met certain requirements. Then came consensual sexual acts, contracts resembling prenuptial agreements and finally institutionalization. The last stage signifies cohabitation has become an accepted social and cultural institution, no longer defined as simply "not married."

However, cohabitation, unlike marriage, does not have defined legal rights. Some states still have, on the books, laws declaring cohabitation illegal. Discrimination against unmarried partners is determined on a state-by-state basis, depending on the court's interpretation of the laws. Some states do not extend fair housing practices to cohabitors. Others do offer protection to all adults -- married, cohabiting or otherwise single. Unlike divorce property rights, there are no laws about property ownership when cohabitors separate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released facts in 2002 about cohabitation, marriage and divorce. By age 30, 75 percent of women in this country have been married and 50 percent have cohabited. This survey studied 11,000 women ages 15 to 44.

The probability of first marriages ending in separation or divorce by the end of five years is 20 percent. The probability for cohabitors breaking up by the end of five years is 49 percent. After 10 years, probability for first marriages is 33 percent, for cohabitation 62 percent.

The study found marriage and cohabitation tend to last longer with certain conditions. These included an older age of the woman when the marriage or cohabitation began, whether the woman was raised in an intact, two-parent household, whether religion played a role in her life, whether she had a higher family income, and whether she lived in a community with high medium family incomes, low unemployment rates for men and low poverty rates.

The CDC research also found the probability of remarriage for divorced women was 54 percent by five years. The rate of remarriage for divorced women has been declining since the 1950s. In addition, second marriages have a 39 percent probability of divorce by 10 years.

* Next week's article will discuss additional facts and trends about cohabitation, marriage and divorce.

Judy Caprez is an associate professor of social work at Fort Hays State University. Send your questions in care of the department of sociology and social work, Rarick Hall, FHSU.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos