Marriage promoted as ‘Gold Standard’
In a highly unusual move, a senior High Court Family Judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, is today to launch a charity, the purpose of which is to promote the institution of Marriage as ‘the gold standard for relationships’. The Marriage Foundation, the new campaign group he will lead is to promote marriage and to warn of the catastrophic consequences of family breakdown.
Backed by senior legal figures and Church leaders, Sir Paul recently said, ‘We aim to be the central and national voice of marriage putting the case whenever and wherever necessary’.
He stated that there was ‘incontrovertible’ proof that married couples were more likely to stay together than cohabiting couples. Sir Paul has voiced particular concern over what he called the ‘Hello! Magazine Hollywood image’ of marriage, saying, ‘Marriage is not something that falls out of the sky ready-made onto beautiful people in white linen suits . . . . it involves endless hard work, promises, forgiveness and love’.
According to official figures, there were 241,000 marriages in 2010, the lowest in 100 years. By contrast, cohabitation rose from a million couples in 2001 to 2.9 million in 2010 – and is projected to rise to 3.7 million by 2031. A report to be published by the Foundation will say that there is overwhelming evidence that married relationships are more stable and children of such relationships fare better. The Marriage Foundation, will accept however that divorce is on many occasions unavoidable.
This move by Sir Paul is not without risks – Judges are not supposed to express their opinions and his remarks will undoubtedly cause controversy and anger. For expert advice on the implications of the breakdown of marriage, contact Alister Keighley or Liz Hebden at Walker Foster.