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.