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Marriage Week 2015 - planning ahead for a happy marriage

PUBLISHED: 14:34 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:36 09 February 2015

Sue Andrews, family law partner at B P Collins LLP

Sue Andrews, family law partner at B P Collins LLP

Archant

Marriage Week is right here and for those planning to propose to a loved one, there's plenty to think about before you say "I Do".

Celebrated from 7-14 February and incorporating St Valentine’s Day, the event aims to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of marriage as the heart of family life.

Part of a charity, The Future Way Trust, Marriage Week UK aims to highlight the benefits of healthy marriage to society, media and governments, and organisers say it provides a great annual focus for couples to pause and learn new skills to take their marriages from good to very good.

Sadly however, “happy ever after” isn’t always possible, a fact underlined by statistics from the Office for National Statistics, which show that 42% of marriages now end in divorce in England and Wales.

Although all of those marrying believe that their marriage will be forever, family lawyer Sue Andrews from leading Buckinghamshire law firm BP Collins LLP, says it can often be helpful to take advice about matters which could become an issue, well ahead of the big day.

Top of Sue’s wish list, from the legal perspective, is a pre-nuptial agreement, particularly where each partner has different assets. In those circumstances, she says, it can make sense to record your specific intentions about those resources, while a pre-nuptial could also be important where there are children from a previous relationship.

“Although some people think that asking your future partner to sign a pre-nup before you marry is unromantic, I truly believe that if you can be open and honest enough to talk about such issues then you clearly have great trust and respect for each other, which is a great basis for a marriage,” said Sue.

Fortunately, statistics show that second marriages are more likely to be successful than those tying the knot for the first time. If one or both partners are remarrying they have less than a one in three chance of divorce, this compares to 45% if both partners are marrying for the first time.

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