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FRHD 1020 Study Guide - Final Guide: Assortative Mating, Engagement, Caspe

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 1020
Robyn Pitman
Study Guide

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Week 5 ~ Cohabitation
Cohabitation: Not synonymous with common law marriage
-Used interchangeably
Criteria varies but could include:
-Ongoing sexual relations
-Duration of cohabitation
-Hold of a joint living address
Historical Context
-Marriage seen as significant life event
-Gain status over union formation
-Change in establishment of unions is linked with other social changes
Welfare policies
Feminist movement
Rapid rise of the divorce rate
-Marriage has historically been an institution formed out of economic necessity
Women relied on men to provide protection and provisions for themselves and their children
Men relied on women for child care and meal preparation
Children were economic assets who provided additional labor to meet household needs
Technological Context (Connection to social changes (see pages 80-84 of textbook)
-Increased freedom and autonomy from parental monitoring that makes courtship and sexual
exploration easier
1920’s the automobile
2010, the cell phone
-Sexuality as a recreational activity
-Reliable birth control and easier access to consenting sexual partners
-Decline in social stigma for sex outside marriage
Factors that Influence Cohabitation
Intergenerational cohabitation
-Parents do influence their offspring’s union formation patterns and stability
-Associated with parent’s religiosity, education, SES, marriage stability and family structure
-Adolescents who grew up in a cohabitating-parent family were more likely to expect to cohabit than
those adolescents who were not
Channeling hypothesis-Cornwall (1989)
-Parents steer their children towards certain beliefs and behaviors
-Process influences the intergenerational transfer of cohabitation beliefs and practices
Marriage important social role transition into adulthood
-Some societies, only legitimate transition out of single status
-Legitimate childbirth and established kinship connections that had enduing impacts on inheritance
and social identity
Typologies of Cohabitation (See page 102, Blue box 4.5)

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Thorton, Axinn, and Xie (2007)
-Being single and cohabitating as equivalent contrasts to marriage
-Marriage and cohabitation as equivalent contrasts to marriage
-Marriage and cohabitation as independent alternatives to being single
-Marriage and cohabitation as a choice conditional on the decision to form a union
-Cohabitation as a part of the marriage process
Caspe and Bianchi (2002)
-Substitute for marriage
-Precursors to marriage
-Trial marriage
-Co-residential dating
Heuveline and Timberlake (2004)
-Prelude to marriage, cohabitation becomes a shorter period of time, then get married, then have kids
-Stage in marriage process, use cohabitation as a transition into marriage, longer cohabitation period
-Alternative to being single, short cohabitation, no kids, no marriage, most likely break up
-Alternative to marriage, longer cohabitation period, less likely to get married, children will be exposed
to cohabitating union for longer period of time than the prelude stage couples
Cohabitation and separation common-law vs. legal marriage (See page 96, Blue Box 4.3 of
Division of property:
Pay half of larger net worth
Only apples if legally married
Possession of matrimonial home:
Not married and name not on home
No legal claim
Special treatment of matrimonial home:
Half of matrimonial home
Only applies if legally married
If you sell your home
Spousal Support:
Married- automatic responsibility to pay or
Must have lived together for 3 years or have
a child
Time limit to apply for spousal support:
Married: no time limit
Claim must be made within 2 years
Order restraining depletion of property:
(spend all of their money in assets)
Married- protected
Common law- not protected
Succession rights on intestacy: (inheritance)
Married- automatically entitled to receive
share of partner’s estate
Common law- not recognized
Equalization payment on death: (not enough
money/property given to you in will)
Married- can seek payment
Common-law- must bring claim against
partner’s estate
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