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University of Wisconsin Study

Focus on the Family, November, 1988

Couples who live together prior to marriage are twice as likely to divorce within a decade as those who lived apart before marriage. That's the result of a study of nearly 7000 couples by two University of Wisconsin sociologists. Many feel that living together is a good method for discovering insurmountable incompatibilities before marriage, said researcher Larry Bumpass. Although he once held that view, Bumpass now believes living together directly contributes to divorce. "The partners have less claim on each other," he explained. "It may be that they form habits in such a period that when carried over into marriage, are not conducive to marital success."