We frequently write about the many concerns, issues and challenges facing individuals who are planning or going through the divorce process. Given the numerous emotional, personal and financial difficulties associated with the divorce process; it seems unlikely that anyone would choose to get married unless he or she was 100 percent confident in and committed to a significant other. However, a recent UK study of more than 1,600 divorcees revealed that nearly half had serious doubts about getting married in the first place.
Anyone who is married or was ever married can likely relate to the many pressures associated with wedding planning. According to the website “cost of wedding”, U.S. couples spend an average of $25,200 on a wedding and often spend months if not years planning and preparing for the big day.
It makes sense, therefore, that some individuals may feel pressured to go through with a wedding even when they have serious doubts. For the UK study, of the 49 percent of divorcees who admitted to having serious doubts prior to marrying, 42 percent admitted they “simply hoped it would work out.” Other reasons cited for marrying despite doubts included guilt, pressure from family, embarrassment and shared children.
Many study participants also admitted to being in the dark about marriage and divorce laws, believing that they could subsequently obtain an annulment. Additionally 45 percent of respondents said they didn’t realize that a “spouse would have a claim on their assets if the union lasted for less than a year.”
The lessons borne from this study are twofold. First, for individuals who are planning to marry, it’s important to acknowledge and address any nagging doubts. Yes, calling off a wedding may be difficult and upset both a fiancé and family members. In the long-run, however, doing so may be the best decision for all involved parties. Second, for anyone who plans to marry, it’s important to understand what that means in terms of laws related to shared assets and property.
Source: The Independent, “Over half of divorcees had doubts on their wedding day and considered leaving their partner at the altar, study reveals,” Kashimira Gander, June 11, 2015