PGM Director and Solicitor, Paula Murphy provides an insight into the hot topic of post-nuptial agreements!
…So, is romance dead?
Well, if you are aged over 60, the answer is probably, no. Marriage rates among the over 65’s increased by almost a half between 2009 and 2014. This was at the same time as the marriage rate among the general population fell. I haven’t researched the rates of prescribing Viagra, so forgive me if this bears some direct correlation to the statistics.
On the reverse side of the coin, divorce in the over 60s bracket is steadily increasing. It is said that this is due to a number of factors, such as an ageing population, the loss of any stigma associated with the word “Divorce” and the general increase in women in employment.
In comparison to the 1960s, people are also waiting until they are older before tying the knot. In the last 40 years the average age of men getting married has jumped from 27.8 to 36.3 years old, and in women from 25.2 to 33.8. Both sexes are therefore giving themselves an extra 8.5 years of freedom before entering the realms of wedded bliss.
Same-sex marriage has been possible since 29 March 2014. There were 4850 marriages between same-sex couples in 2014. Women take the lead in the statistical league on this one with 56% of same-sex marriages being female, in comparison to 44% being male.
2014 was a good year for marriage! According to the stats there was a 2.7% hike in marriages from the previous year. Apparently, a lot of people avoided 2013 for superstitious reasons. Either that, or they waited for the change in the law introduced on 29 March 2014!
Post-nuptial agreements are becoming very popular after marriage. Again, some say ”isn’t this unromantic?”. So what? In the majority of cases it is the couple declaring that they will make financial provision for themselves in the event of their relationship breaking down. They are independent human beings managing their own lives. We take out insurance to protect ourselves against calamity. Post-nuptial’s work on the same basis. Damage limitation.
So, is romance dead? A lot of people say that making a Will is morbid. However, all that we are doing is making our wishes clear and providing for the future. A post-nuptial agreement is very similar, in many respects. With the increase in marriages in the older generations, it is more important than ever, that they protect their children from previous marriages or relationships, by excluding previously acquired assets, from the new marriage.
Another reason may be excessive wealth on one side or both, hence the reason I suggested asking Beyonce the question! Allegedly, Jay Z and Beyonce drafted a post-nuptial agreement to divide up their $1 billion estate, in the event of a split.
A few years ago Beyonce advised Single Ladies to (Put a Ring on it). She has obviously taken her own advice, but with the added precaution of protecting her pre-acquired music royalties and hopefully avoiding costly legal proceedings, in the public domain, should things go pear-shaped with Jay Z. I guess it just goes to show that you can be both Drunk and Crazy in Love, but prudent with your dosh at the same time! Boom Boom!