Encourage marriage for the sake of children: Top judge’s advice

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A drive to persuade couples to marry rather than simply live together would help combat high break-up rates among cohabitees, a report said.

It also called for state spending to concentrate on families with young children, because this is the time when family relationships are under the greatest pressure and have the highest chance of breaking up.

The recommendations were prepared by the Marriage Foundation think-tank in response to a call from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith for ideas on how to keep families together.

Mr Duncan Smith’s Family Stability Review is aimed at gathering information on how families are changing, which are most at risk of failing, and how the state can do more to keep them together.

The Marriage Foundation, which was launched by High Court family judge Sir Paul Coleridge, said in the first published evidence to the review that the families most at risk are those of unmarried new parents.

It said that cohabiting couples make up fewer than one in five parents, but half of all family breakdown. Editor’s note: The sidebar of this website is not for young audiences. 

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