Marriage versus Cohabitation Term Paper by Jessie

Marriage versus Cohabitation
A comparative analysis of heterosexual marriage with cohabitation in order to determine the more beneficial option.
# 149630 | 921 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 27, 2011 in Women Studies (Marriage) , Sociology (General) , Law (General)

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This paper looks at how couples who choose to live together enjoy many of the benefits of marriage but there are important legal and social distinctions that may cause many couples to choose to marry before living together. It discusses how although the daily life of a married couple and a cohabiting couple are very similar, the law mandates requirements for the establishment and end of a marriage that do not exist for those who choose to live together. A married spouse is entitled to legal benefits and informal social privileges that are not available to those who simply live together.

From the Paper:

"The primary differences between marriage and living together are legal in nature. The American legal system makes important distinctions between marriage and living together. First of all, the processes to establish and dissolve each status are very different. In order to be married, a couple must follow the requirements of state law. They will be required to obtain a license and wait a short period of time before getting married. They will be required to participate in a marriage ceremony officiated by a person qualified to administer a marriage. Witnesses must be present at the marriage ceremony and they must sign the marriage certificate after the ceremony is completed. The couple may also be required to have medical exams and blood tests taken. In contrast, there are no formal legal requirements impacting a couple's decision to live together. "Cohabitation can be entered into any time, by anybody of any age and any gender, with no formal requirements" ("Marriage vs. Cohabitation" 1). Similarly, the law requires a married couple to obtain a formal divorce in order to end their marriage. "Marriage must be ended by a formal, legal divorce of annulment process that can be costly, time consuming, complicated and emotionally draining" ("Marriage vs. Cohabitation" 1). A cohabitating couple can choose to stop living together at any time. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Champlin, Joseph M. "Cohabitation before Marriage," Catholic Update. June, 2003. Accessed online
  • "Marriage vs. Cohabitation," 2008. Accessed online
  • Smock, Pamela J., Gupta, Sanjiv. "Cohabitation in contemporary North America," in Booth, A., Crouter, A., Landale, N. (eds.) Just living together: implications of cohabitation on families, children, and social policy (53-84). Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Marriage versus Cohabitation (2011, December 27) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Marriage versus Cohabitation" 27 December 2011. Web. 13 August. 2022. <>