Marriage and divorce on the rise for the over-65s

Marriage and divorce on the rise for the over-65s

It’s official – according to figures recently published by the Office of National Statistics, marriage rates among the over-65s increased by almost a half between 2009 and 2014, in contrast to a general decline in the popularity of marriage in the population as a whole. Divorces among people over-65 in England and Wales are also steadily increasing, in sharp contrast to the overall trend in divorces.

So, what should people in this demographic consider when remarrying? Many people today work well beyond their 65th birthday and will still be generating an income. In addition, many will, by this age, have acquired significant wealth through both their own endeavours and inheritances. It is highly probable that each partner will have adult children from their previous marriage or marriages and will wish to protect wealth for their first families. Since the significant case of Radmacher and Granatino in 2010, and their subsequent increasing recognition, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people entering into Pre-nuptial Agreements.

A Pre-nuptial Agreement might be particularly useful where:

  1. One of you has substantially greater capital or income than the other;
  2. One or both of you wishes to protect assets you owned prior to the marriage, including inheritances or family Trusts;
  3. It would be beneficial to define what is considered to be ‘matrimonial property’ or ‘non-matrimonial property’, for example in relation to business assets owned by one of you prior to the marriage;
  4. One or both of you has children from a previous marriage or relationship and wishes to protect assets for the purposes of inheritance planning;
  5. One or both of you has a connection with, or property in, another jurisdiction.

Although such agreements are not strictly binding in England and Wales, they can be highly persuasive in the event of a later divorce. To improve the chances that the Court will not consider the agreement to be unfair if it is necessary to rely on it, both of you will need to set out your financial circumstances in full, and take independent legal advice on the agreement and its effects.

If you would like to speak to Naim Qureshi, surrounding any of the matters highlighted in the article, or for any other issues related to matrimonial and divorce law, please contact Naim on naq@blasermills.co.uk or 01494 781 356.