Assets that a person owned before a marriage and inherited assets should be excluded from divorce settlements, a senior family lawyer has claimed. Baroness Ruth Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, has made the case for Britain to adopt a European-style divorce system that would prevent women from marrying rich men, doing nothing during what can sometimes be a short marriage, and walking away with millions.
Under the new proposals, divorcees would only have to divide the assets that they accumulated during the marriage, such as property and cash. Deech said that too many people ended up in bitter divorce proceedings that in some cases cost more than the value of the assets in question. If divorcing couples had an idea as to the assets that would be in dispute, it would lessen the need for people to have to go to court and could more readily resolve the issues during mediation.
Shadow Justice secretary Dominic Grieve has said that if the Conservative party wins the election, he will examine the proposal along with a review of other elements of family law. The Law Commission is currently considering recommendations for pre-nuptial agreements to become legally binding, which could be facilitated by new legislation.