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Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and David de Vaus examine the factors that discriminate between cohabiting couples who choose to marry, those who choose to separate, and those who continue to cohabit. They use three waves of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to explore the characteristics of those who follow these different pathways. These data may help explain why many cohabitors marry in an era when cohabitation is common and on the rise, and when children are increasingly born outside marriages. There is also a voluminous literature on divorce, but a patchy and scant literature on cohabiting relationships that break down.

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Published year only: 
2006
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