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Marriage better second time around

A new report from the Marriage Foundation has claimed that marriage is better second time around and that couples who re-marry are generally happier and less likely to get divorced than those who are on their first marriage.

It found that 45% of first-time marriages are set to end in failure compared to just 31% of those married for a second time. The foundation believes that those who go into another marriage after the first attempt has ended in failure, do so with the benefit of age and experience and they are more ready to commit for the long term. Rather than “rushing into” marriage, having failed once, they are also likely to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on a second marriage.

For and against

For

  • The Marriage Foundation also says that, with the age and experience often comes a higher income which can afford a degree of protection against some of the everyday difficulties that can occur.
  • It is also quite likely that there will be fewer young children involved when going into a second long-term relationship.

 

Against

  • Other experts believe the findings are inconclusive and that, while some statistics suggests second marriages actually break down more quickly, others insist that maturity plays a part and does give those entering into marriage again a greater chance of making it last.
  • Also, of course, while there may not be young children, a second marriage does have the possibility of offspring having an involvement even if they are teenagers or students.
  • Money can often be tighter in second marriages because of the previous cost of divorce settlements.

Figures suggest that around 40% of all weddings in the UK are second or subsequent marriages involving around 100,000 every year. Partly this is because it is now easier to get married with more venues available away from religious institutions. Also of course it is now more acceptable to remarry. The social stigma which once applied, no longer does.

Finances

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics divorce rates are particularly high for those marrying for the second time and this can have a significant effect on the finances of the couple concerned. Courts are reportedly more willing to split a couple’s assets 50-50, even if they have only been married for a few years.

The average age that people marry for the first time is also getting higher all the time; it is 36 and 34 for men and women respectively. Therefore, this obviously has an effect on the average age of those getting divorced, which has also risen, to 43 and 41, again for men and women respectively.

If they do divorce, in their forties or older, they are more likely to have some assets, pensions or savings, which can cover the costs associated with the separation. However, if they were then to have to divorce all over again, it could have a real impact on their wealth, leaving them virtually penniless.

Solicitors say that they warn clients getting married that there is an automatic assumption of equality of assets if they divorce. So, whether it is your first, second or even third marriage, make sure you are committed to it because the financial consequences can be severe should it fail.