LibraryRelationship statistics show importance of 'pre-nups' for pensioners

Relationship statistics show importance of 'pre-nups' for pensioners

If you think that wedding pre-nuptial agreements are primarily for the rich and/or famous – then think again, as figures show a rise in older people tying the knot and protecting their assets.

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 per cent over a decade.

This is against the backdrop of an ageing population; with the number of people aged 65 and over up by 20 per cent in the same period (2004-2014).

The marriage rates for those aged 65 and over showed an increase for both sexes since 2009.

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.

But by the same token, figures for divorce and separation among pension age couples are also on the up.

Whilst divorce in England and Wales is in decline – a 28 per cent fall in the number of divorces between 2005 and 2015 – older people are bucking the trend.

In the same period, the number of men divorcing aged 65 and over went up by 23 per cent and the number of women of the same age divorcing increased by 38 per cent.

And these statistics, says Buckles Solicitors LLP family law solicitor Anika Aston, give additional importance to the merits of having a legally-binding pre-nuptial agreement – a contract between a couple who intend to marry.

She 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.

“As well as this being a generation which prioritises its happiness and wellbeing, the ‘silver surfers’ - as they have become known - have a greater confidence when it comes to using the internet to access online dating websites.”

Anika 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 certainty to the situation should the relationship eventually breakdown. A prenuptial agreement provides clear information regarding their intentions at the outset.”