Study Reveals The Changing Face Of Couples Living Together

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In San Antonio and elsewhere in the country, there was a time when most couples that chose to live together were young couples who wanted to see how cohabiting would work out before actually tying the knot. An analysis of the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau information from 15.3 million opposite-sex unmarried cohabiting couples reveals that the group is older and more diverse than in the past.

Some highlights from the study to be released in November on families and their living arrangements, are as follows:

  • 47% of the cohabiters are over 35 years old and 15% are over the age of 55
  • 41% of the cohabiters have children living with them
  • 65% are white, 12% are black and 18% Latino
  • Nearly 63% of the cohabiters have never been married and almost 29% were divorced
  • 59% of the cohabiters had children and 41% did not
  • 21% have a bachelor's degree or another advanced degree, 31% have attended college or have an associate's degree, 35% graduated from high school and 13% did not

Baby boomers have certainly added to the cohabiting trend, according to research from Bowling Green University, which revealed an increase from 25% to 37% in those living together over 50 years of age between 2000 and 2010.

Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said that 2012 cohabiters are far more diverse than in the past, when middle-class couples with no children dominated the living together lifestyle. It seems that living together for older adults has become an attractive alternative to marriage that has doubled in recent years and is continuing to gain momentum. According to Mark Mather with the Population Reference Bureau, the growing trend towards living together as an option to marriage has primarily been with those who have less education. Nearly 50% of those who opt for cohabiting have a high school degree or less.

Although the Texas Family Code is silent on cohabitation agreements, some couples who decide to live together opt to reduce their rights, duties and obligations in the relationship to writing. Once executed by the parties, the feeling by most family law attorneys is that these agreements are enforceable and will be upheld in court. Since Texas is a common law marriage state, there are those who want to make their intentions clear that they are only living together, they never intend to be common law married and the only way they will ever be married is in a ceremonial marriage.

Whatever your family law questions are, you should always seek advice from an attorney who is experienced at handling family law matters on a daily basis.

Allan R. Manka, P.C., is a Bexar County attorney who has been handling a variety of family law matters for almost 40 years and has a proven track record. He has helped clients throughout South Texas, including those serving our country at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases.

Contact us at 210-807-8679 or toll free at 866-621-7085 for a free initial consultation to discuss you situation and the options available to you.

Other Resources:

Living Together Not Just For The Young, New Data Show, USA Today, Article by Sharon Jayson, October 17,2012