Downward trend in couples getting married

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that in 2017 (the latest available official figures) the average age at which heterosexual couples got married reached an all-time high of 35.7yrs for women and 38yrs for men.

Marriage rates in that year were currently at their lowest level on record; and this is the result of a continuous period of decline which according to statistics, shows a 45% decrease since 1972.

The ONS also recorded further declines in the number of couples opting for religious ceremonies. These accounted for less than one in four marriages between opposite-sex couples – which is equivalent to 23% – the lowest on record.

Apparently, the most popular date for getting married in 2017 was 2nd September – when 4,370 couples tied the knot. Whereas the least popular date in 2017 was Christmas Day, with only three weddings having taken place.

Overall, there were a total of 242,842 marriages registered in 2017 which was 2.8% less than the previous year; and more than 1,000 couples converted their existing civil partnerships into marriage.

Included in the total above, there were 6,932 marriages between same-sex couples – 56% between female couples and 44% between males, which according to statistics is similar to the figures recorded in 2016.

It is highly anticipated that due to COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, a significant number of weddings will have been cancelled or postponed (including Princess Beatrice’s !!) so it’s fair to assume that these figures will decline massively again in 2020/2021.


Cohabiting Couples

The number of couples choosing to live together unmarried continues to increase. On this basis, it is generally agreed between family lawyers that properly thought-out legislation for cohabitees rights should now become a priority; especially since cohabitees are often reliant upon property law, which can be extremely complex.

Property law also does not provide cohabitees (particularly ones who have lived together for a number of years) with any share of a partner’s pension fund or right to maintenance.

Therefore, we feel it is prudent for cohabiting couples to consider a cohabitation agreement to protect their loved ones.

If there are any aspects of a cohabitation agreement or advice needed relating to property or financial matters, especially where a cohabiting relationship is under pressure or breaking down, feel free to contact one of the family team here at Price Slater Gawne who can advise you further:

⋅ Carole Nettleton
Tel: 07958 028069

⋅ Nicholas Clough
Tel: 07538 385956

Our expert solicitors have over 50 years of combined, hands-on experience when it comes to cohabitation agreements and relationship breakdowns, and they will ensure that your case is dealt with promptly, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner.

We can correspond with you by email and we can arrange interviews by phone, Skype, Facetime or Zoom.