The best time to consider whether to put measures in place to protect your wealth in the event of divorce is, as unromantic as it may sound, in the period running up to the marriage. Ideally no less than 28 days before the wedding, spouses-to-be can elect to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement with a view to pre-determining how the family resources are to be divided if they later divorce. Such an agreement would not be automatically binding on divorce but if certain safeguards are observed it could be highly persuasive.

If you miss the 28-day deadline, you might opt, once you are married, to enter into a post-nuptial agreement, which is treated in the same way by the Court as a pre-nuptial agreement.

By the time you have reached the decision to divorce, it might be too late to enter into any meaningful form of asset protection. By that stage, it will be for your legal team to argue on your behalf, if appropriate, that certain family assets are "non-matrimonial" and should, therefore, be disregarded for the purposes of any financial settlement. However this is by no means a fait accompli: arguments that assets are non-matrimonial are likely to be given short shrift where, without recourse to those assets, there is not enough left in the marital pot to meet the other spouse's reasonable needs in line with the standard of living during the marriage.