Things to Consider when Getting Married in Later Life

01 May 2018

Recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics tell us that the number of couples getting married in later life has increased significantly over the last few years. For those tying the knot later on in life, there are a few things that it’s important to consider first.

Legal Considerations when Getting Married in Later Life

There are factors that may come into play for someone getting married later in life, which may not apply to a younger bride or groom.

It’s possible that by the age of 65 a person will have significantly more money and assets than they had in their 20s. They are more likely to own their own home and may also have a pension fund or savings that they have been building up to see them through retirement. If this is the case, then it’s important to ensure the nest egg that has taken a lifetime to build up is protected in the event of marital breakdown.

It could also be that an older bride or groom has children from a previous marriage or relationship, and possibly even grandchildren. In this instance, it’s likely that they will want to ensure that their children and grandchildren are provided for and that their upcoming marriage doesn’t detract from this.

Pre-Nuptial / Post-Nuptial Agreements

An effective way to protect individual assets when entering into a marriage, regardless of age, is to put a Pre-Nuptial (prenup) or Post-Nuptial (postnup) Agreement in place. As you may have guessed, prenups can be put into place before a wedding has taken place, while postnups can be created after the couple are already married.

Both of these documents allow the couple to set out exactly what would happen if their marriage were to break down, setting out exactly who would get what. They can also set out what would happen to any items that are purchased jointly, who gets what from the joint bank account and even who keeps the pets in the event of separation.

Prenups or postnups are a good idea for couples entering into a marriage who have disproportionate or significant assets, which they want to ensure are protected.

Our Family Law Solicitors can discuss your circumstances, explaining exactly what a prenup or postnup is and how it would work for you. They can also talk you through the process of putting this in place. We offer fixed fee and flexible pricing to suit your needs, with prenups or postnups costing £900 including VAT.

Marriage Figures

The most recent marriage data published by the Office of National Statistics found that in general, the number of couples choosing to marry has decreased, with the numbers of couples tying the knot in 2015 at the lowest ever recorded.

However, at the same time the number of those marrying in later life has increased. From 2005 to 2015 marriage rates across all ages groups fell, except for men aged 65 and over and women aged 55 and over. Marriage rates for these age groups increased and in the decade leading up to 2014, there was a massive 46% increase in the number of people aged 65 and over tying the knot.

Why Are People Marrying in Later Life?

There are any number of reasons why people may be choosing to walk down the aisle later on in life. It could be that couples who have never thought about marriage decide that they want to take advantage of the increased Inheritance Tax thresholds that come with being a married couple.

Or it may be that with divorce rates increasing among older people, more people are finding themselves single in retirement and are meeting new partners at this stage in life. From 2004 to 2014, divorce rates among the over 65s increased by 23% for men and 38% for women. This is while divorce rates in general fell by 28% across all age groups.

Of the individuals who got married in 2014 aged 65 or over 92% had been married before and were either widowed or divorced.

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