Jump to content

Marrying a rich man is not an alternative to getting a career, barrister tells women


Recommended Posts

Marrying a rich man is not an alternative to getting a career, barrister tells women



By Steve Doughty

Last updated at 9:54 AM on 14th October 2009




article-0-0041704C00000258-391_233x468.jpg Heather McCartney was awarded £24million last year after divorcing Sir Paul McCartney


Women should not be able to marry men for their money as an alternative to a career, a leading family law expert said yesterday.

Baroness Deech said women should expect to work and that the law should be changed to prevent them living in comfort for life after a short marriage to a wealthy man.

She called for pre-nuptial agreements, which allow couples to plan before they marry what will happen to their children and assets if they divorce, to be made legally binding.

She said: 'If you marry a captain of industry, you become one yourself for all time, at least as far as the standard of living is concerned.'

Lady Deech, a lawyer and former head of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, is chairman of the Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers.

She said divorce laws as they stand signal that 'getting married to a well-off man is an alternative career to one in the workforce'.

She added that pre-nups were 'an immediate and attractive model for reform in this country.

'It is hard to see why adults should not be free to contract at the point of marriage for the financial consequences of any divorce, subject to built-in fairness tests,' she said. 'There would need to be provision for children, if any, and a definition of what assets were to be included.'








Her comments came in the latest of a series of lectures she is giving pressing for radical changes in divorce law.



Is marrying a rich man a legitimate alternative to a career?



VOTE heathermills_108x76.jpg





All polls Click to view yesterday's poll results



Last month she condemned divorce settlements that give wives half of their husband's assets.


She has also warned that over-generosity to divorcing women has made England the divorce capital of the world.


In another lecture she said that marriages are too easily broken up and that schoolchildren should be taught the value of marriage just as they are taught about the dangers of smoking or the risk of poor diet.

article-1220196-06D04761000005DC-463_233x423.jpg Pre-nuptial plea: Baroness Deech


But her views have put her at odds with some other prominent advocates of marriage and traditional family life.

Last week liberal commentator Christina Odone said that 'real women' do not want to commit themselves to careers and that the state should do more to allow stayat-home mothers to be supported by breadwinning husbands.

Judges have traditionally been wary of pre-nup deals, which have been seen as tending to undermine a marriage from the start and giving undue advantage to the most powerful partner - usually the husband.

However, the scale of some settlements after short marriages recently has given weight to the arguments put forward by Lady Deech.

Heather Mills, the former wife of Paul McCartney and mother of his daughter Beatrice, was awarded around £24million after only four years of marriage last year.

But in July Appeal Court judges set a new precedent by upholding a prenup in a divorce that saved millions for one of Europe's richest women.

Katrin Radmacher, a 39-year-old German heiress, will avoid £5million in payments to French-born researcher Nicolas Granatino after the judges agreed to take into account an agreement the couple signed before their 1998 marriage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...