Wedding season is upon us – not least with Royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot this month.
And while all couples go into their marriage expecting a ‘happy ever after’ ending, for some, it isn’t all hearts and fairy tales.
Alongside ordering cars and flowers, dress fittings and seating arrangements, more and more couples are adding wedding pre-nuptial agreements to their ‘to do’ list.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contact between a couple intending to marry and sets out each other’s financial situation in a full and frank manner. It also describes what financial arrangements should take place if the couple separate or divorce.
Not just for the A-listers or TV shows – as currently being featured on BBC divorce lawyer drama, The Split – these contracts are becoming increasingly popular, and more so among the older population entering into a second or third marriage.
According to the most recent information from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on marriage data – the number of brides and grooms aged 65+ rose by 46% over a decade.
Confidence in using the Internet for online dating, being more financially comfortable and an ethos of enjoying life to the full are among the reasons cited for more people looking for, and finding, love later in life.
Buckles Solicitors LLP partner and head of family law, Lyn Brisley, said: “The figures surrounding those marrying or divorcing later in life are fascinating and inevitably there will be speculation as to what lies behind them.
“An obvious viewpoint is that people are keen to divorce and remarry post-65, or indeed marry for the first time, because life expectancy is rising and there is a 'life is too short' mentality.
Lyn added: “Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular, and there is some merit in considering such a document, especially if this is a party’s second or third marriage. The agreement sets out each other’s financial situation in a full and frank manner and also expressly describes what financial arrangements should ensue if the couple subsequently separate or divorce.
“When couples have married previously, they will want to bring some certainly to the situation should the relationship eventually breakdown. A pre-nuptial agreement provides clear information regarding their intentions at the outset.”
Buckles Solicitors LLP provide a comprehensive family and matrimonial service; including pre-nuptial agreements.
The pros and cons:
- It is particularly helpful when family wealth is brought into the marriage.
- It saves emotional and family fall-outs if issues have been openly aired and expressed.
- It can save time and money to protect both parties well into the future.
- It is not the most romantic of subjects at the time of wedding planning, especially as an additional cost to the wedding budget.
- It needs to be carefully drafted to account for possible changes that occur during marriage, and may need to be reviewed. Nevertheless, they do not bind the Court’s discretion.