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Comparing Marriage, Cohabitation, and Being Single

by: Summer Boone

Comparing Marriage, Cohabitation, and Being Single HDFS 2100

Marketplace > University of Georgia > HDFS > HDFS 2100 > Comparing Marriage Cohabitation and Being Single
Summer Boone
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About this Document

These are my notes for January 19th.
Development within the Family
Dr. Chalandra M. Bryant
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Summer Boone on Tuesday January 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 2100 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Chalandra M. Bryant in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Development within the Family in HDFS at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 01/19/16
HDFS 1/19/16  Comparing Marriage, Cohabitation, & Being Single  Authors of chapter  Arland Thorton: University of Michigan  Wiliam Axin: University of Michigan  Yu Xie: Professor of Sociology @ University of Michigan  Cohabitation  Many different types of cohabitating couples with different goals and perspectives  Sometimes called: marriage-like relationships, paperless marriages, de facto marriages  Not legally common-law marriage unless they intend to be married or hold themselves out to community as husband and wife  Common-Law Marriage: parties may represent themselves as a husband and wife, and under certain circumstances, be deemed married without a marriage license or ceremony  Not legal in GA after January 1, 1997, common-law marriages started before that are recognized  Don’t have to live together for a certain period of time to be “common-law married” (based off intentions, not set guidelines/rules)  Some people say substantial & stable unmarried cohabitations should be legally recognized  Law passed in 2000 to give long-term “marriage-like” cohabitations the same legal rights as married couples  Depends on law view AND personal views of the couple  Cohabiting unions are generally not entered into the same commitment to the permanence of the relationship that characterizes entrance into marriage  Cost of terminating a co-residential union = lower in cohabiting than in marital relationships  Many who accept cohabitation without any link to marriage plans probably enter cohabiting relationships as an alternative to single life  Many couples initiate cohabitation very slowly, ease into it  Social and legal constraints motivate cohabitation  Lack of freedom viewed as primary disadvantage of marriage  Sliding vs. Deciding by Dr. Scott Stanley (Prof @ University of Denver)  Deciding to be a cohabiting couple vs. easing (sliding) into it  “Over the past few decades, people with these characteristics don’t show risks associated with living together before marriage:  Only ever cohabited with the person they marry  Only began to cohabit after having clear, mutual understood plans to marry their spouse  Did not cohabit until age 23 or later”  A few, RARE findings show groups having improved odds  Selection Factors: parents divorced or never married, poor economic resources, less education  You can’t control the hand of cards you’re dealt, but what you do with your hand determines your success  More inertia in cohabiting relationships than just dating  Harder to breakup when you’re sharing an address  People increase their constraints for staying in a relationship before they’ve clarified their commitment to that relationship  Importance of inertia: If you’re not already in a committed relationship but you’d like to be, the relevant personal questions are:  What things could I avoid that could make it harder for me to break it off with someone before I’m sure I want to be with that person?  How would I do that?  Inertia: “I’ve already put so much energy into this guy and it would be a pain in the butt to start over with someone else so I’m just going to stay with him”  Stanley’s findings: Couples who cohabit premarital are 1.7 times more likely to divorce  Ted Talks: Dr. Scott Stanley (for more info) –start @ about 12 minutes


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