Study: Unmarried, cohabitating couples not as committed

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

There are many couples in Missouri who are unmarried and living together. Some of these couples have children together, while some are childless. Some of these couples are engaged, or planning on getting married one day, while others never plan on getting married.

The Rand Corporation recently conducted a study on these unmarried cohabitating couples. The study found that living together does not necessarily mean there is a higher level of commitment. Rather, the study found that many who are living together are unsure of just how long their relationship will last. Basically, there is not the same permanence level reported by many married couples.

An earlier Rand study found similar findings when it came to permanence. According to that 2006 study, those who just one day started living together — instead of making decisions together — were more likely to have stress in their relationships. In cases where these couples ended up getting married, they were also more likely to end up getting divorced.

So just what does this mean for the couples who end up having children, but then break up before getting married?

For the father this means it is important to get a paternity test. Unlike married couples, when a child is born to non-married parents, there can sometimes still be question as to who the father of the child is.

Many fathers mistakenly believe that their name being on the birth certificate ensures parental rights. However, this is not true. Rather, a Missouri father will want to get a DNA paternity test done in order to prove he is the father and make sure he has custody rights in the event of a split from the mother.

Source: NBC Bay Area, “Unmarried Cohabiting Couples Show Lower Commitment Than Married Couples: Study,” Edith Yang, July 12, 2013

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