A report a few years ago conducted by the University of Denver concluded that couples were more likely to have lasting happiness in their marriage if they were engaged before they cohabited and they were twice as likely to divorce if they lived together before marriage.
Could it simply be that some people view engagement as a more secure commitment than buying a property together – and so they work harder at the relationship? Or in the case of unmarried couples that have lived together for a long period, perhaps in some instances they may feel pressure after such time to get married out of a sense of duty?
Some may say that it is more romantic to be engaged before choosing to cohabit and that the public commitment of an engagement offers a test run for marriage.
What many don’t realise is that being engaged can have importance when it comes to dividing up assets on separation. With cohabitation a couple have no “common law husband and wife” rights as previously thought by many and thus there is no financial remedy for say a couple that have lived together for 20 years and the woman has never worked and has been provided for by the working man. However, if that couple were engaged rather than just cohabiting and one had contributed to property then they could apply to the court to decide an issue or financial redress after the end of the engagement within the law of England and Wales.