Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke wants to scrap Legal Aid for divorce. This will mean that anyone who wants to protect their share of the fallout from a divorce will have to pay for their own costs.
Insurance may be the answer
The basis of the insurance business is that you can insure anything against any type of risk. It's just the amount of the premium that you have to pay that decides whether it's worth it. Obviously the greater the risk the higher the premium. We all do it for our houses, cars and even our lives. So why not our marriages?
The cost of divorce
Apparently the cost of the average divorce (is there such a thing?) is £13,000. If you go this way you do need the best divorce solicitor working for you especially if the divorce has all the hallmarks of a car crash. Now getting on for half of all marriages end up in divorce. So what would you pay to avoid a 50% chance of losing £13,000 at some time in the future? £800 in a one off premium? Or £12 a month for the rest of your life?
To be honest, the one off premium sounds like a deal. Paying monthly also sounds OK as if you get divorced after 11 years (that's another average!) you will only have paid around £1,500.
The role of the pre nup
Now that pre nuptial agreements are to be recognised by the courts and divorce insurance is just around the corner that pretty much wraps up the business and financial part of marriage. Not so much risk there then. However, advice from a good Independent Financial Adviser who knows about divorce finance is a good idea.
The effect upon marriage
All this may sound just fine but is it a good way to go? Well that could depend upon what you think marriage is all about. The truth is that it's part mystical union between a man and a woman and part hard business deal. These new developments will allow the practical aspects of marriage to be more regulated and secure for both parties.
What effect might all this have on the divorce rate?
Well, it will make divorce easier from a practical point of view. A lot of the unseemly wrangles over the children, the money and through sheer bloody mindedness will be taken care of by the pre nup and the insurance will pick up the tab for the lawyers. So the temptation to say "I just don't want to do this anymore" will be that much greater. You could just sit back and let the pre nup and the insurance kick in but would that be a good idea. Divorce (and life) is not that simple or that easy.
The best use of a prenuptial agreement and divorce insurance is to give a greater sense of security and certainty to the practical aspects of the union which will allow the real meaning of the marriage to develop and prosper.