Finding Love Later in Life: Marriage

By Karen Pritchard

Principal Associate

It is common for those who have found love in later life to have built up assets and have a good income. Those assets and incomes may be at risk in a divorce.

On divorce, the court has a very wide discretion and takes several factors into account when deciding a financial settlement. There is no set formula for deciding a financial outcome, and therefore, the decision made by one judge can be quite different to how another judge would determine a matter.

We can advise you on the fair parameters for a settlement and likely outcome range, but there is always an element of uncertainty. In addition, the legal costs in resolving a financial settlement can be significant, particularly if it cannot be negotiated and court input is necessary. There is never a quick resolution when the court process is used. In short, the court process is uncertain, expensive, and lengthy. It is best to avoid it where possible.

A prenuptial agreement is advisable where, for example, an individual is entering a marriage later in life or entering into a second marriage, and wishes to protect their asset base for their own children, where there is an imbalance of wealth between the parties of the marriage, and commonly, where that wealth is inherited.

The court will likely uphold the terms of the agreement provided certain criteria are met. A pre (or post) nuptial agreement is therefore an essential consideration for those that have an asset base that they wish to protect in the event of marriage breakdown.

Many people do not know that marriage automatically cancels any existing Will, and so it is important that an up to date and valid Will is put in place when a marriage is entered into. We cover this in further detail in Part 3: Planning for Later Life and Death.

There can also be tax advantages of marriage, in life and on death. We can also advise you on the tax advantages and disadvantages of marriage before you say ‘I do’.

For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact us on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.