Does Moving In Together Before Marriage Lead to Divorce? Only If You Do So Before This Age

Ever hear about how shacking up before putting a ring on it is a one-way ticket to divorce? Well, feel free to purge that thought from your mind! A recent study proved there is zero correlation between pre-marriage cohabitation and early divorce! Whew!

Feel free to thank Arielle Kuperberg, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, for this one. She observed thousands of married women in a study for the National Survey of Family Growth. Kuperberg's findings proved that pre-marriage cohabitation has nothing to do with divorce. The culprit, however, is age.

Kuperberg noticed that it wasn’t a question of if couples were moving in together before getting married, it’s when they’re doing so that makes a difference. She notes that the age factor is evident in both past and present research, and that younger couples who shack up before getting married are the ones who are more likely to get divorced. Kuperberg explains further for the Huffington Post:

"For decades research has shown that cohabitation leads to divorce, and for the first time we can definitively say that cohabitation doesn't lead to divorce and never did -- that those earlier findings were a result of an incorrect measurement."

So exactly how young is too young to shack up without future consequences? In an article for Contemporary Families, Kuperberg states that maturity is a huge factor. She also mentions that moving in with your significant other before you’re 23 is a bad idea. Kuperberg notes the importance of age in relation to couples moving in together for Contemporary Families:

"What leads to divorce is when people move in with someone – with or without a marriage license – before they have the maturity and experience to choose compatible partners and to conduct themselves in ways that can sustain a long-term relationship. Early entry into marriage or cohabitation, especially prior to age 23, is the critical risk factor for divorce."

Although Kuperberg's research may seem like common sense, the concept of considering maturity before shacking up is a pretty good one. That, and there's hope for the people who choose to share a bathroom before sharing a life with their significant others!