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How Does a Second Marriage Impact Financial Settlements?

Posted on 22nd April 2021 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

In any marriage, it’s important to be aware of the legal procedures and rules pertaining to financial settlements should you and your spouse divorce. However, second marriages, whether it’s you or your ex-spouse who remarries, can throw up some additional complications. 

 

In this month’s article, discover how a second marriage can impact financial settlements and learn how to protect your money, assets and future.

How is a second marriage different from the first?

The average age of divorce in the UK is around 45 years old, and so anyone who marries for a second time will most likely be doing so in their later years of life. It is therefore not unreasonable to assume that one or both spouses have more money, assets and investments than they did in their previous marriage. This places greater significance on protecting one’s financial status.

There also may be children from a previous relationship. This may complicate matters when it comes to dividing up assets in a financial settlement, especially in a Will if you or your spouse should perish.

A second marriage may also alter legal obligations to a previous spouse. 

All of the above will be explored in greater detail below.

Prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract written up and signed before a marriage that details what happens to each spouse’s assets in the event of a divorce. 

Prenuptial agreements are more common in second marriages, as each spouse typically has greater assets they may wish to protect.

Though the contract isn’t legally binding, prenuptial agreements are often upheld by judges so long as they have been drafted fairly and adhere to all legal requirements. Goodwins Family Law Solicitors can draw up a prenuptial agreement for your wedding, ensuring it will have significance in court should you divorce.

Inheritance

A Will is a legally binding document that details what should happen to your assets when you die. You provide these rules when you make a Will. However, any Will you have made previously will become null and void when you remarry. Unless you make a new Will, your assets will be divided according to the intestacy rules:

  • All assets in your sole name (up to the value of £325,000) will be passed on to your spouse, as well as any assets which you and your spouse own in joint names as joint tenants.

  • Your spouse will also receive half the remainder of your assets (anything over £325,000). The other half passes to your children on your death.

If you have children from a previous marriage, the intestacy rule may complicate matters. Regardless of how you want your assets to be split, it’s important you make a new Will once married to make your wishes legally binding.

Maintenance

Many divorce settlements will include maintenance payments. These are regular payments, typically paid by the spouse with greater income or earning capacity, to support their ex-partner financially. Maintenance payments are most commonly granted to support a child’s upbringing, but they may also be ordered even if there are no children involved.

If you are the spouse who is making the payments and you remarry, you will still be required to make these payments to your ex-spouse. 

However, if you are the spouse making the payments and your ex-spouse remarries, then the Maintenance Order will automatically be terminated and you will no longer be responsible for paying maintenance. 

Goodwins Family Law Solicitors provides support and advice for child maintenance orders. We will guide you through the entire process, helping you to reach a favourable agreement.

Goodwins provide assistance in a range of areas pertaining to family law. Our specialists will support you through the entire process, helping you to start a new chapter in your life. Whether you need a solicitor for a prenuptial agreement, inheritance claim, child maintenance or more, get in touch with our team today. We’ve been established for over 25 years and have an excellent client satisfaction rate.

 

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