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High Court Judge Announces Plans for Marriage Foundation to Halt Divorce

By Periscope @periscopepost

High Court judge announces plans for Marriage Foundation to halt divorce

Marriage: The ideal state? Photo credit: Goran Ratković

Divorce lawyers beware: A senior UK High Court judge is launching a campaign to promote marriage and steer couples away from splitting up. Sir Paul Coleridge said that his message is “Mend it – don’t end it”, and that he would be setting up a foundation to spread the word, reported The Times (£). The judge argued that people give up on relationships too easily nowadays, choosing to dump their partners rather than work on problems.

Sir Paul also said that he wanted to encourage couples to marry rather than co-habit if they have children: “I am unashamedly advocating marriage as the gold standard for couples where children are involved.”

Good old-fashioned common sense. “Everything’s too easy and too quick these days. Want a 48-inch telly? No need to save up, have it now on free credit or pay with your credit card,” said Chris Roycroft-Davis in The Daily Express, arguing that a culture of “instant gratification” leads people to give up too easily on relationships. Roycroft-Davis was firmly in favour of Sir Paul’s proposed pro-marriage campaign because of the impact of divorce on children: “Those young lives are being blighted. Sir Paul’s proposed marriage foundation could just break that cycle of despair.”

The number of divorces rose by 4.9 percent between 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, according to The Office for National Statistics. The divorce rate was highest among the 40-44 age group.

Hurrah for marriage. The Daily Mail was, surprisingly enough, rather positive about Sir Paul’s Marriage Foundation, suggesting that a pro-marriage push is necessary because politicians have been busily devaluing the institution: “The view that ‘stable relationships’ and cohabitation are just as good as marriage has taken root across much of Whitehall,” claimed Steve Doughty.

A 99-year-old man and his 96-year-old wife are set to become the world’s oldest divorcees after 77 years of marriage, reported The Telegraph. The unnamed Italian man was apparently distraught to discover his wife had been unfaithful back in the 1940s.

Marriage doesn’t suit everyone. Writing in The Independent, Joan Smith blamed celebrity culture for creating a societal “addiction to romance, where people who don’t have much else in their lives crave the highs of a new relationship”. According to Smith, the solution is greater education in schools about different varieties of relationship rather than pushing “the one-size-fits-all solution of traditional marriage”. Smith also pointed to recent domestic violence statistics, arguing that “lectures about the desirability of marriage” would not help women in dangerous relationships.

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