Wedding bells for the over 65s

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the over 65s are far more willing than they have been in the past to divorce and re-marry. 

The data shows an increase of 46% in brides and grooms aged 65 or over!  Although the divorce rate has been decreasing during this period, the over 65s buck the trend.  The statistics are not linked – there is no suggestion that by marrying later the chances of divorce are increased - but why the change?

The ONS concludes that the reason is linked to life expectancy.  People live longer, are often more economically independent and many have the attitude, ‘life is short.’

These changes have resulted in more prenuptial agreements.  Couples marrying later in life generally bring more assets to the marriage and have more to lose if it fails.  In turn, this can impact the inheritance of grown up children from a previous relationship.  Prenuptial agreements enable couples to protect family wealth and enter marriage with greater certainty.

People often ask if prenuptial agreements are legally binding.  The answer is that the court must take their contents into account in a divorce settlement.  They examine how well the agreement has been drafted and want to see that both parties have had independent legal advice, have entered the agreement freely (there is a cooling off period), financial disclosure has taken place and that fundamentally the agreement is fair in the circumstances.  If these criteria can be satisfied then yes, it is likely to be upheld by the court. 

A prenuptial agreement drafted by an expert provides the best possible protection against future claims from an ex-spouse.  Without it, the risks are high.

For further advice and a free 15-minute phone consultation, contact Mel Loxley at Birkett Long on 01206 217384 or

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.