Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term for couples who, whilst committed to each other, decide to have separate homes rather than one shared residence.
The Times Study speculates that quantum of LAT relationships equates the incidences of de facto relationships in the UK.
LATs consist of three factions, concerning decision to keep separate domestic residences. There are firstly: the "gladly apart", and two minorities identified as being: the "regretfully apart" (due to work commitments, family responsibilities, legal/residency requirements, or other reasons) and the "undecidedly apart" (committed but not especially moving towards cohabitation at the time).
Sweden, which has witnessed similar trends to the UK in marriage, divorce and people living alone, has seen LATs rise from 6% in 1993 to more than 14% in 2001/02. Two UK studies support this - research at Oxford University by John Haskey (2005) estimating up to 2 million UK couples were living separately, and research by Professor Sasha Roseneil of the University of Leeds (On Not Living With A Partner, 2007).
Whilst living apart appears to be more "popular among younger people" , the studies found "hundreds of thousands" of couples age 35 - 59 choosing separate living as well, including an estimated 14% of 50 - 59 year olds. Roseneil's conclusion includes that LATs are on the increase, and other experts are stated to agree that LATs are "now part of the social landscape".
Although research is far from conclusive as to motive, common themes suggested include the benefits to both individual and joint lives it confers on the couple and also on their children. LAT couples claim that these include:
Reasons also include emotional bases, for example "because a previous cohabiting relationship has broken down, or they do not want to impose a new partner on children from a previous relationship."
Whilst professionals appear to consider LATs a viable lifestyle, it is an area requiring further research to determine long term sociological affects of LATs.
Critics of LATs raise concerns that this social deconstructionism displaces the traditional family unit.
The Times cites the following examples of LATs: Woody Allen and Mia Farrow (different homes either side of Central Park, New York), Margaret Drabble and Michael Holroyd (married 24 years as of 2007, separate homes), Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton (one child, two houses next door to each other in Hampstead, London), and Booker prizewinner Arundhati Roy and husband Pradip Krishen (separate homes in Delhi, India).
This article is based on "Living Apart Together" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Living+Apart+Together&action=history