This article examines the gold-digging trope in family law. It explores the etymology of the term and how it has been employed in cultural and legal contexts, such as media, parliamentary debates and case law. It is argued that the gold-digger construct has shifted, in that it was once applied only to women who formed relationships with men for financial gain, but is now used against all women in the context of modern equality claims in family law, regardless of their intentions. Today, the gold-digger is any woman who seeks a fair share of family assets on divorce, and the concept informs ideas not only of claims to financial relief on divorce, but also the enforceability of prenuptial agreements.
Thompson, Sharon, In Defence of the ‘Gold-Digger’ (December 18, 2016). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol 6, No 6, 2016.