Marriage is a partnership; it is a legally binding contract between two people. The marriage service reminds us that marriage is not something that should be entered into lightly and only entered into if you intend to spend the rest of your life with that one other person for better for worse, for richer, for poorer.
There is a seismic shift in the law when two people get married – you can live with someone for 50 years, but if you’re not married you’re not entitled to any claim against your partner’s finances, purely on the basis that you live together, so if you break up, you leave with nothing other than what is in your name. There are some very limited exceptions to this rule, but they’re few and far between.
As soon as you marry, you each have an entitlement to claim against the finances of the other should the marriage end in divorce. The standard advice when someone seeks a pre-marital agreement is that if it’s asset protection you’re after, don’t get married.
Sadly not all marriages last until the death of one party, unfortunately some end in divorce. There are a multitude of reasons why people get married and an equal number of reasons why they subsequently get divorced.
Each couple and family is unique and their reasons why a relationship doesn’t work are as individual as they are. One thing that does seem to be a thing of the past is the shotgun wedding, perhaps because nowadays it is more acceptable for people to have children out of wedlock – it just doesn’t have the stigma that it once had.
No one should feel obliged to get married, it should be entered into freely and with a clear understanding of just what is involved.
For more information, please read Half of Divorced Brits had Doubts Before they Married.
If you would like more information on divorce, cohabitation or issues regarding your children, call our Family and Divorce Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have the largest team of Family Lawyers in the country and offer both flexible pricing and fixed price family law and divorce services.