The UK Government announced in April this year that it had commissioned a review of the 50-year-old laws in England on finances after divorce and the ending of a civil partnership.
The Law Commission is facing lobbying from campaigners to recommend that judges be less generous towards financially weaker spouses, which are usually wives.
Partner Mark Harper commented that it was unlikely the Law Commission would recommend more rigid certainty at the detriment of greater fairness to the financially weaker spouses.
He drew comparisons with continental European jurisdictions’ approaches, which involve “marriage contracts” similar to prenups, commenting that in such systems wives “typically will receive no share of their assets and therefore no capital. They may still be entitled to spouse maintenance but that is usually assessed at a much lower level. Many English judges and practitioners believe it would be unfair to allow such a system.”