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Getting married later – the impact of careers, cohabitation and costs

Date: October 12th, 2010 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Times are changing and the average age that women and men are getting married is increasing in both England and worldwide.   The average age in England and Wales reported in 2005 was 36 years old for men and 33.6 years for women.

Why are people getting married later?

This could be down to several reasons.  One reason being that in our parents’ generation people did not live together before marriage because it was frowned upon whereas nowadays many people now cohabit before marriage as they see it as an opportunity to see if they are compatible before they take the plunge and get married.  Couples are also perhaps taking into consideration the likely expense of the wedding day, considering the money could be spent on a deposit on a property instead taking into account the rising cost of obtaining mortgages.  Also, perhaps in this day and age people are less religious in their views and therefore marriage is not as important to many as it once was.

The impact of the modern society

In modern society the opportunity for women to have high powered careers is such that in recent times women are holding off the domestic life to pursue their further education and subsequent careers.  They have no rush to settle down at a young age.  More freedom with career choices has meant that women no longer have to depend on a man for financial support and thus enjoy more independence.  However, this does not mean that they do not wish to get married at some stage in their lives.   Are they merely postponing the wedding day until they find themselves in a better position career wise and financially?   Also, going hand in hand with marriage later in life is women having children later than their mothers once did.  It is widely reported in the press that mothers are getting older because women have been making career choices before settling down and thus are having children later on in life.  Therefore does having children change people’s attitudes to marriage?  Perhaps couples who were once happy to cohabit, then wish to get married once they eventually do have children. But does marriage bring them security?

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