Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Although Few Americans Approve of Divorce, Their Beliefs on Cohabitation are Softening

From Deseret News:

The number of Americans who find cohabitating acceptable has been growing, but fewer adults say they approve of divorce, according to a recent National Health Statistics report.

It's a continuation of a half-century of dramatic change in American family life, according to authors Jill Daugherty and Casey Copen, both Ph.Ds in the Center for Disease Control's Division of Vital Statistics. Their report outlines great change in family life: People marry for the first time later than in the past, divorce rates that shot up are now dropping, the fertility rate is lower, more people are cohabitating, a smaller share of new babies are being born to married parents and more of first births are to older mothers.

The report is based on data from the 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013 editions of the National Survey of Family Growth.

"Living together before marriage may help prevent divorce," was agreed to by 60 percent of women and 67 percent of men in the 2011-2013 group. Those numbers are similar to findings in the previous survey as well. But the number who agreed "divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can't seem to work out their marriage problems" dropped from 46.7 percent of women and 44.3 percent of men in 2002 to 38 percent of women and 39.3 percent of men in the 2011-2013 group.

Similarly, support for the opinion that "a young couple should not live together unless they are married" dropped between 2002 and 2011-2013 — among women from 34.7 percent to 28 percent, and among men from 32 percent to 24.8 percent.

Read more here.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2016/04/although-few-americans-approve-of-divorce-their-beliefs-on-cohabitation-are-softening.html

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