To move in, or not to move in? Thinking about moving in with your partner, but wondering if it’s the right decision for you? Learn more about cohabitation so that you can make the right decision for yourself and your relationship.
Let’s start with the basics – what is cohabitation? Cohabitation is a sexual relationship in which two people live together without being legally married (McDaniel & Tepperman, 2011). Cohabitation can lead to common-law marriages – a valid and legally binding marriage entered into without civil or religious ceremony, resulting from a cohabitating relationship that lasts more than three years (McDaniel & Tepperman, 2011). In recent decades cohabitation rates have drastically risen, as couples of all ages and life stages are choosing to cohabitate for multiple reasons as either a precursor or alternative to marriage.
To find out more about cohabitation and common-law marriages in Canada check out these government websites; Common Law Relationships in Canada at http://www.commonlawrelationships.ca/, and Ontario Family Law: Common Law relationships and Cohabitation Agreements at http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/justice-ont/family_law.asp.
Research has demonstrated both negative and positive outcomes for cohabitating relationships. When trying to decide if cohabitation is the right choice for you and your partner, examining some of the empirical research on the effects of cohabitation can be extremely beneficial. The following posts will break down three recent studies on the effects of cohabitation, in hopes to enlighten you on the draw backs, benefits, and factors involved in cohabitation.
McDaniel, Susan A., and Lorne Tepperman. Close relations: an introduction to the sociology of families. 4th ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2011.