Second Relationships

Posted 30 May 2018 by Dawn Pennell

Dawn Pennell, Associate at Capron & Helliwell solicitors, considers second relationships
In a feedback questionnaire a client said “stop me from ever getting married again”.  Although the comment was made in a humorous way there are steps which may be taken and ways of dealing with such situations which could minimise difficulties which may be encountered.  Divorce statistics suggest that over 40% of first, over 50% of second and over 70% of third marriages end in divorce which can be painful and stressful.

A pre-nuptial agreement may not seem the most romantic way in which to begin married life but it does encourage consideration of what could happen if the marriage fails and, in particular, what would happen to assets and possessions in such circumstances.  English Courts are not bound by them but their terms will be considered if they are drafted in an appropriate way.

With many people entering into second or third marriages it is not uncommon to find that one party is financially better placed than the other and there are often children from earlier relationships to consider.  Any existing Will will become null and void on re-marriage so it is important to make a new Will if you wish to ensure that your wishes are honoured.

Dealing with the end of your relationship showing goodwill, acting generously and respectfully to one another in a ‘consciously uncoupling’ way with a desire to minimise damage to your children and one another like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may seem appealing.  However, this may be difficult to achieve when emotions are running high. 

Attending mediation provides an opportunity to talk openly in order to achieve an amicable outcome with input from a neutral mediator. 

Acting collaboratively involves a commitment to achieve an outcome through dialogue rather than correspondence.  In a series of four-way meetings the parties and their collaboratively trained legal representatives work together to achieve an agreement in a non-confrontational, civilised way without going to Court leaving a Judge to decide the future for you.
At Capron & Helliwell we have experience of helping people plan their second relationships and, because everyone’s circumstances will be different, it is always best to seek legal advice.

Dawn Pennell is a Chartered Legal Executive and Collaborative Lawyer dealing with family law matters at Capron & Helliwell.
Capron & Helliwell offer a fixed fee first appointment for family law matters - for details or to book an appointment please contact Tina Phillippo on 01692-581231 or email her at

This article aims to supply general information but it is not intended to constitute advice.  Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead.  However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy.  Always seek specific advice. This article was written on 30th May 2018 and the law may change following this date.

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