Pre-nuptial agreements on the way?

In our public consultation document we call for mandatory pre-nuptial agreements.

For many years (and to this day) men who marry have risked losing their shirts in divorce settlements. With many women now working and becoming well-off in their own right, on gender equality grounds there should be no need to change the law. From today’s Daily Mail:

From the article:

Lady Deech said on Radio 4’s Sunday Programme: ‘Lots of young women these days are working, earning well, and would feel it extremely unfair if a young man who they marry and perhaps leaves them is going to take with him a sizeable chunk of what they have worked so hard for.

Let’s try a gender switch, shall we? Why did Lady Deech (and others) not say this in years gone by?

‘Lots of young men these days are working, earning well, and would feel it extremely unfair if a young woman who they marry and perhaps leaves them is going to take with her a sizeable chunk of what they have worked so hard for.

Lady Deech’s double standard here is breathtaking. Back to the article:

‘The position of women has changed in the last 40 years and it’s time to recognise that in this country, like virtually every country in the world, two people who are getting married ought to be able, if they want, to make a contract about how their assets are to be divided if they divorce.’

So, as in so many areas of their lives, women are demanding the upside of something (the possibility of a happy marriage, with all the benefits that brings) without the downside (the possibility of a divorce and losing a lot of their wealth). Men, of course, have never enjoyed such a choice.

Some good may come of this, ironically. A pre-nup law protecting men’s fortunes will come as a bitter blow to many women, because far more women than men marry for money. Is this an example of Karma? If so, I’m all for it.

What will happen in practise, of course, is that many men will be manipulated by the women they wish to marry into not having pre-nups.

6 thoughts on “Pre-nuptial agreements on the way?

  1. I had hoped that Civil Partnerships would be available to heterosexual couples, because they had more limited liabilities for the partners. Although disgusted at Deech’s sexism possibly even misandry I agree that the state should seek to recognise such contracts as pre nuptials. It should treat marriage as a partnership and , as is the case of many countries, deal only with the wealth created during the partnership should it end. As it is we have a strangely open ended liability in marriage reflecting religious or romantic aspirations . Rather than the reality of a partnership . Marriage may be divine for the religious but the state should treat it as a partnership and regulate it accordingly. Civil partnerships for all would actually be more equitable and more equal. There is afterall no reason that religious people , like me, can’t pursue our ideals of life long marriage whatever the law is. It’s just that state law would only underpin the basic partnership. Both partners would be clear on their liabilities and legal responsibilities and be free to pursue their religious or romantic ideals . Currently we have judges complaining about the difficulty of sorting Ancilliary relief and the results are frequently grossly unfair. Interesting to speculate why the divorce rate fell with house values. Perhaps with less to be gained divorce looks less attractive ?

  2. I heard Lady Deech make that remark on Sunday’s Radio 4 morning programme. It really is staggering how biased these people can be, apparently without realising it – or, at least, without any shame.

  3. I was talking to my manager the other day about marriage – his difficult divorce turned me off marriage and set me on the path to the MHRM – who was telling me about his experiences on

    ‘Women have to be so careful online,’ he shared, ‘there are so many predatory men out there, a lot of them are just looking for a wealthy single woman!’

    Watch out ladies! Can you believe that someone would marry for nothing more than money?!

  4. Thanks Peter. Echoes of Florida, of course, where some women are campaigning against alimony laws… because they’re having to pay alimony to ex-husbands. Priceless. Money must always flow from men to women, never vice-versa. It’s ironic to hear men being called gold-diggers. I still think many men will naively marry without a pre-nup, though, which is why we’re calling for them to be mandatory. Frank Tallis describes in ‘Love Sick’ that romantic love is a mental illness, developed long ago in our evolutionary past to deal with the problem that humans would otherwise not procreate enough to keep the species going.

  5. An interesting take Mike. Good news though. I suspect that many men will have a pre-nup if they are over 35 and bring a property of say 10 years standing. Yes, it’s been bought in because women now have assets.

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