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Rising divorce rates deterring parents from leaving assets to married children

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A new study suggests that rising divorce rates across the UK are deterring parents from providing financial support or an inheritance to their married children.

The research, carried out by financial services firm Investec, found that 14 per cent of parents felt that their child’s marriage would not last, while 12 per cent said that their children had already experienced divorce or permanent separation from a long-term partner.

A far more substantial 42 per cent said that they had ‘limited confidence’ in the ability of their sons and daughters in long-term relationships to manage their financial affairs, while 14 per cent added that they had skipped a generation and decided to leave their assets to younger grandchildren.

The study suggests that UK parents are growing reluctant to pass their assets on to their married children – for fear that divorces and relationship breakdowns will result in assets leaving the immediate family.

Commenting on the study, Simon Bashorun, of Investec, said: “With divorce rates as they are in the UK, we are seeing increasing numbers of parents looking to protect wealth from leaving the immediate family, particularly if they’re pessimistic about the state of their children’s marriages.

“In our experience parents may disapprove of their children’s choice of partner but can be reluctant to interfere in case they cause a family rift”.