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As many Washington residents may know, it was once true that people who moved in together before they got married were more likely to eventually seek a divorce than those who did not. Interestingly enough, though, moving in before marriage is no longer a good indicator for signaling whether a marriage will end in divorce. That finding is the result of a new study that surveyed 22,000 men and women from across the United States.

Conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study looked for any trends in first marriages. It found that for couples who were engaged first and then moved in together before taking their vows, their marriage was just as likely to last 15 years as those who waited until after they took their vows to live together. Still, those chances of reaching the 15-year mark fell slightly if the couple moved in together before they were engaged.

Overall, the study found that about half of all marriages will end in divorce within 20 years, although the likelihood of that varied amongst different demographics. For example, 62 percent of Hispanic men were in their first marriage after 20 years, versus 54 percent and 53 percent for white and black men respectively. Also, those with a college degree were more likely to stay married than those who did not have a college degree.

Yet, no matter the situation, there are many reasons for seeking a divorce in Washington and elsewhere. Over time, a couple may simply drift apart, and they may eventually come to the decision that they need to go their separate ways. In other cases, there may be a lack of commitment by one spouse or even abuse within the marriage. Seeking a divorce then may even be an opportunity, allowing a person to move on with their life.