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Sharing a place before marriage: Beneficial or not?

Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, more couples today are deciding to live together before marriage, said Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University Research and Extension family studies specialist.

Some couples think that pre-marital cohabitation is a good way to see if their relationship has what it takes to survive in today�s world - before they make the commitment of marriage, Olsen said. In fact, with a 50 percent divorce rate in the United States, some couples think that pre-marital cohabitation is important because moving out is easier than getting a divorce.

Research shows, however, that couples who live together before marriage don't necessarily make better partners during marriage or have a greater chance of staying together.

"Ultimately it comes down to the couple�s decision about cohabitation and to whether or not they feel comfortable living together," Olsen said. "For example, if they�re not ready to tell Mom and Dad about it, then they�re probably not ready to live together."

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