Like Marriage Remarriage Is Also Waning In Popularity

Like marriage, remarriage is also waning in popularity

We have previously written that the marriage rate in the United States has declined in recent decades. While there may be several contributing factors to this trend, most believe that it is because younger couples have seen their parents go through divorce and are therefore choosing cohabitation instead of marriage.

In addition to a decline in the rate of first marriages, the remarriage rate has also dropped significantly. According to a recent USA Today article, America’s remarriage rate has dropped 40 percent over the past two decades.

Perhaps another reason for choosing cohabitation over marriage (and remarriage) is that there is no longer a social stigma about couples living together outside of wedlock.

The sociologist who authored the remarriage analysis said: “Pretty much everyone, regardless of age, is less likely to get remarried than in the past.” She also noted that “Cohabitation has opened up options for people that weren’t there 20 years ago. It affords the benefits of marriage without the legal constraints.”

But this doesn’t mean that cohabitation is all of the good with none of the bad. While many believe that marriage comes with “legal constraints,” they forget that it also comes with a legal safety net.

Those who never get married are still at risk of a very messy, prolonged breakup. But unlike married couples, those who cohabit cannot take advantage of the legal protections afforded in divorce. These include equitable property division and alimony, among others. Child custody battles can also encounter more snags when parents are unmarried.

To be sure, there are advantages and disadvantages to both marriage and cohabitation. Whichever path you choose, it is important to do so after careful thought and consideration.

Source: USA Today, “Remarriage rate declining as more opt for cohabitation,” Sharon Jayson, Sept. 12, 2013


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