...Surveys show that although [after divorce] the wife most commonly gets the house as well as her 'share' of the assets, within a few years she is worse off than the husband. It is much less lucrative for her to restart her career than for him to continue his. She generally has to sell the house and start eating into the capital.
So what would you agree to—a 50/50 or a 60/40 split? The old Book of Common Prayer was much simpler. The bridegroom promised "With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow". And the bride did not give him a ring and endow him with any worldly goods. There was no mention of a wedding ring for men.
Later prayer books have tried to express the mutuality of marriage in terms of both bride and groom giving wedding rings and making the promise "with all that I am and all that I have I honour you". It is a wonderfully vague and meaningless declaration of mutual love that avoids the reality of money altogether.
The modern marriage is a 'fifty-fifty' relationship. But marriage is built not on two halves becoming one, but on two wholes becoming one: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Once you have endowed your beloved with all your worldly goods, there is no room to split your assets. You do not have any. You have already endowed her with them all.
Ah, gone are the days when gentlemen promised total commitment! Little wonder we have to ask the question of what percentage of the assets each gets. Little wonder we are facing the question of splitting up at all.
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer embodied a far more muscular conception of Christianity than is normally on display today. And in the area of marriage, this showed itself in a right understanding of the gracious and total commitment that the man was expected to make as he initiated the relationship with his wife.