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Study sheds light on women and co-habitation

Few people enter into marriage thinking it will end in divorce. Despite this, couples throughout Canada regularly decide to end their unions. According to information Canadians provided in the 2011 census, rather than marriage, residents are increasingly opting to be involved in common-law relationships. A study recently released that was based on that information, focused specifically on women age 15 and older, and their preferences regarding marriage and common-law relationships.

As compared to 1981 statistics, in 2011 more women of all ages are following this trend. Looking at women overall, at 11 percent in 2011, the number of women residing with a common-law partner was more than twice the 3.8 percentage recorded in 1981. Focusing specifically on a demographic that is a bit older, 11 percent of women between the ages of 50 and 54 were in a common-law relationship in 2011. This is significantly higher than the 1.7 percent living like this in 1981.

While the number of divorces occurring in the nation has risen more than seven percent between 1981 and 2011, the rate varies depending on the age range of the wife. In particular, young women are less likely to divorce than older women. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Statistics Canada indicates this shift in living arrangements is believed to at least in part contribute to fewer young couples divorcing.

Whether a couple is married or living together as common-law spouses, should the union come to an end there are a variety of matters that need to be addressed. For most, the division of their property, including what will happen with the marital home, is the most important. A family law lawyer can help make sure a party gets the settlement he or she deserves.

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