You may think that in real life there are no Elizabeth Taylor’s and Richard Burton’s but you’d be wrong in thinking that. A recent article in the Telegraph has highlighted the growing trend for what are referred to as ‘’yo-yo’’ couples who marry, divorce and get back together. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/why-the-boomerang-divorce-is-on-the-rise/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em
It is perhaps not all that surprising that a lot of couples do decide to remarry given their attraction in the first place and the often continued ties of children, mutual friends or links through maintaining contact with the in-laws.
As a specialist divorce and family finance solicitor the Telegraph article made me think about the people I see who have decided to get back together with their ex. As a lawyer, the first question I have to ask myself is: what is the impact of marriage on my client’s original financial settlement? On re-marriage it is as if the couple are back to square one with all the financial claims that a husband or wife can bring on a second divorce. For some couples that means that they are both more comfortable with living together in a cohabiting relationship with a cohabitation agreement in place to sort out and record their agreed property and financial arrangements .Others prefer the security of marriage but with a prenup agreement drawn up prior to their second wedding.
There isn’t one legal solution that’s right for everyone who decides to get back together with an ex-spouse. Normally there are legal pros and cons to the options of living together without remarriage or marrying for the second time, with a prenup agreement in place. Putting romance and family feelings aside, for inheritance tax reasons, a couple’s adult children might well thank their parent’s decision to remarry rather than cohabit with one another but there are a wealth of legal and financial considerations with each option. The legal advice will all depend on what the couple agreed first time round in relation to property ownership and the split of pensions and their current financial circumstances.
Most couples who are marrying second time around see a lot of sense in sorting out a prenup agreement. The document means that there is less risk of acrimonious and expensive second divorce proceedings. The beauty and practicality of a prenup agreement is that it can be as detailed or as broad as the couple require provided that certain legal requirements are met.
For those preferring to cohabit together it is just as important to draw up a cohabitation agreement as few couples realise that even if they don’t remarry and don’t jointly own a house together that property claims can still be made if a relationship breaks down.
I certainly think that the adage ‘’older and wiser’’ is true of the people I advise who in relationships with their ex-spouse. Most see the need to sort out an agreement that in reality is designed to protect the whole family from bitter and expensive Court proceedings if things don’t go as planned.
For advice or to ask a question about cohabitation or prenup agreements please give me a call on 01625 728012 or e-mail me at [email protected]