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Cohabitation, or living together in an intimate sexual relationship outside of marriage, has become commonplace in the United States. Just a few decades ago, marriage was the foundation for intimate coresidential partnership for heterosexual couples. Now roughly 70% of marriages begin as cohabiting relationships, and nearly 70% of women ages 30 to 34 have cohabited at some point. In addition, cohabitation has become the main source of nonmarital childbearing. According to analyses conducted by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research and reported in 2015, about 43% of children are born outside marriage. Of these, nearly 60% are born to cohabiting couples. Thus, the majority of nonmarital births are not to single women but to cohabiting couples.

Children are thus involved in cohabitation. Social and ...

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