Are you at a higher risk for divorce because you got married on Valentine’s Day?

You and your partner might have sentimental reasons to get married on a specific date, and that should not be any indication of whether your marriage is more likely to end in divorce, or not.

Recent studies by the University of Melbourne, however, found that people, who get married on special dates like Valentine’s Day or special number dates, have an 18 to 36 percent higher chance that their marriage will end in divorce. The researchers say that it is not necessarily the date itself that increases the risk of divorce, but rather what the choice of date says about the couple.

We will probably never know if the higher risk for divorce is due to the specific characteristics of the couple, or the fact that a higher number of people get married on these “special” dates. Whatever the reason, or wedding date, you can, and should, protect yourself from a complicated and expensive divorce.

How can you protect yourself from a costly divorce?

Any breakdown of a marriage comes with heavy emotional costs and, often, expensive legal fees. You can protect yourself by drawing up a Financial Agreement. Partners in a de facto relationship can also benefit from such a financial agreement. You can enter into a financial agreement at any stage before (pre-nuptial) or during the marriage or relationship.

It is important that neither of the parties to a financial agreement must be under any form of duress when signing the agreement. If you think that your current circumstances can later give rise to an argument of duress, rather wait before entering the agreement, or include a clause stating specifically that your current circumstances are not in any way influencing you to sign the agreement.

Does a financial agreement suit you and your partner?

The best thing about financial agreements is that you can tailor it to your specific needs as a couple. You can specify who gets what upon the breakdown of the marriage or relationship. You can determine who will be responsible for certain payments or who gets specific assets. 

The agreement can address your individual arrangements as a couple. By agreeing on, and specifying financial arrangements, whilst you and your partner are still in a happy, healthy relationship protects you from future emotional arguing and expensive legal fees to reach settlements, should your relationship or marriage break down.

Do you need a lawyer?

To be valid and enforceable, the Act requires that you and your partner must obtain independent legal advice before concluding a financial agreement. Both your and your partner’s lawyers must execute a certificate confirming such independent legal advice. These certificates must be attached to the Agreement.

You might wonder if it is worth the legal fees to enter into a Financial Agreement?  It is always worth obtaining good legal advice before entering into any financial agreement. The initial expense of legal fees to have a properly drafted agreement, tailored to your specific needs, will always be a good investment in the event that your marriage or relationship breaks down and you end up having to go though a divorce.

If you are considering entering into a Financial Agreement, get legal advice from a lawyer with experience in this field.

Divorce rates and wedding dates