Once burned, twice shy? Research has shown that the divorce rate for second marriages is much higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. In fact, almost two out of three second marriages will end in divorce. Is that one of the reasons people choose to cohabitate the second time around? In the end, the answer may be both unknowable and beside the point.
With more couples choosing not to marry, courts are facing some interesting challenges in custody cases. The question is not about the unmarried couple's children, but children from previous marriages that the partners bring into their new relationship. Parents have rights; stepparents have some rights. Whether parents' partners have rights, though, is something that courts are still grappling with.
A friend of ours loves to tell the story of her grandfather's funeral. Her grandparents lived, for the most part, on the income from a trust set up by his parents years before. The trust stipulated that when her grandfather died, her grandmother would get the same income, and she could stay in the house. There was a condition, though: Her grandmother would lose everything if she remarried. Well, then, she said, I'll just have to shack up with the guy.
It seems more unmarried couples chose to live together during the recession -- a 13 percent increase from 2009 to 2010, according to the results of ASES, the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. At the same time, the number of marriages continues to decline, as did the divorce rate. Ifyou are part of an unmarried couple in Illinois, take note: Your cohabitation won't last if it was based on financial need.