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The ultimate pre-marriage insurance against divorce

Atlanta readers may have differing views on the practice of living together before marriage. Proponents might argue that living together is the best way to see if a couple will last in marriage, and may go a long way towards avoiding divorce and its attendant complications, such as the division of real estate. Others might believe that cohabitation is unnecessary if couples have taken the time to truly get to know each other. Of course, some Hollywood celebrities usurp the whole argument, choosing life-long roommate status over the institution of marriage.

Those that do support pre-marital cohabitation may be interested to know that young couples -- those between the ages of 18 and 34 -- are taking the practice to a whole new level. According to a recent survey, almost one quarter of millennial couples purchased a home together before deciding to get married.

The approach is not mirrored in older couples nearly to the same degree. Only 14 percent of couples ages 45 or older invested in a house together before marriage. Nor do those real estate figures reflect the actual percentage of couples of all ages who live together before marriage, which might be as high as two-thirds.

One housing industry commentator likens the home buying practice to a millennial version of a second engagement ring. Others believe that the trend may be more a reflection of the changing real estate market, rather than evolving relationship norms. For example, couples in a committed relationship that were already discussing or making marriage plans might have considered the historically low mortgage interest rates too good to pass up. It might simply have been easier to speed up the home purchase, rather than the wedding event itself.

Source:, “More Millennials get house before getting hitched,” Haya El Nasser, April 17, 2013

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