This week, there has been an interesting report by The Marriage Foundation regarding the relative success of second marriages. Statistically, it is predicted that 45% of all people who marry this year are likely to divorce once in their lifetime but if it is the second marriage, that rate falls to 31%.
We live in a society where second and even third marriages are relatively common compared to say the last 30 years. Second marriages bring together two separate families. Sounds simple doesn’t it but it is not as clean cut as that. Someone who is marrying for the second time may be marrying someone who has been married several times before. This can be difficult territory to find yourself in, a melting pot of mixed feelings. However, despite some of the challenges many merged families face at the outset, most people will have learnt valuable lessons from the first marriage. In theory, you are older and wiser, more mature, more forgiving and less intolerant of other people. Whilst this may not always be true, it has to be a factor for the relative success of second marriages.
Harry Benson, who wrote the report for the Marriage Foundation, said: ‘Overall, second marriages do better because couples who get married for the second time are invariably older than those marrying for the first time. Couples on their second marriage are more likely to stay together as they benefit from the experiences of the past…one possibility is that higher age is a proxy for higher income. Higher income acts as a buffer against some of the everyday difficulties faced by most couples.”
‘Another possibility is that higher age means there are fewer young children from prior relationships. And fewer second marriages for men are subject to the social and family pressures that lead into some first marriages. Hence men tend to do better second time round.’
If you are about to get married for the second time, congratulations! There is a “BUT” however and it’s a pretty important “but”. Before you do tie the knot it really is a good idea to make sure that you have made a Will to protect your children from the first marriage. They won’t thank you if you don’t and in our experience they will argue. We know it’s not romantic but we also suggest that you give serious thought to having a pre-marriage agreement to make sure you protect everything you bring to the marriage. Like we said families, merged or otherwise, will argue.
If you would like to discuss making a will or a pre-marriage agreement, please contact Venisha Shah on (020) 8956 2655 or send an e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.