Law Commission proposes ‘gold digger’ divorce law change?
Tuesday 11th January 2011
The Law Commission has put forward a proposal that could end “gold-digging” divorces. One of Britain’s leading family lawyers, Baroness Deech, says that assets built up before a marriage should be excluded from divorce settlements.
Baroness Deech, the chairwoman of the Bar Standards Board, said the country should adopt European-style divorce laws to bring an end to bitter and expensive legal battles and to deter “gold diggers” from marrying for money. Under the proposed overhaul, only assets, including cash and property acquired during the marriage would be subject to the divorce settlement. Individually owned or inherited assets would be protected. This is a complete change from the curent law where all the assets owned by the married couple, irrespective of whether these were obtained prior to the marriage or during the marriage, are available for division at the time of the divorce. It would let married couples keep the cash, income and assets they owned before they married, after their divorce.
There is at present a Law Commission Public Consultation on Marital Property Agreements. The Law Commission is against moves towards full, unbreakable prenups (prenuptial agreements), in which couples could say how all their assets should be divided if they divorce.
Cast-iron prenups, it argues, are not “appropriate in English law” calling them “almost certainly unacceptable as a matter of public policy”.
Is this the right way forward on divorce judgments? Tell us what you think using the comment section below