New research collated by the Family Resources Survey and the General Household Survey have highlighted a significant decline in marriage rates among the middle classes.

The collapse of marriage among middle earning families denotes an upheaval in cultural and social attitudes. Previously low rates in marriage were largely attributed to low income households, however the latest research would suggest this trend is now prevalent in other socio-economic groups. In 1994 the number of middle class families with young children who were married stood at 84%, in 2012 this figure had dropped to just 59%.
The publication of the research has caused a divide over how a decline in marriage among certain social economic classes consequently affects children. Sir Paul Coleridge, Chairman of the Marriage foundation put forward the argument that marriage and family stability were reciprocal, controversially stating: “When a social-economic group turns away from marriage, we see a corresponding hike in the rates of family breakdown.”

However with a third of marriages ending in divorce by their 20th anniversary there is nothing to suggest that matrimony is an essential component in creating a stable home life for a child. Co-habiting and single parent households are equally capable of providing children with a settled home environment that stimulates their developmental progression.

Data shows that conflict and poverty are in fact the most destabilising factors that effect children and their behavioural patterns. Quality of relationship between a child and their parents, whether they live together or are separated, is vital in counteracting external disruptive influences.

For divorced couples the breakdown of a relationship is never easy and the prospect of parenting apart brings a fresh set of challenges. Creating a happy and settled home is essential in helping to take care of the emotional well being of both yourself and your family. It is crucial parents take the necessary steps to manage conflict between themselves encouraging their child to maintain a healthy relationship with the other parent.

Here at Farleys our experienced family law solicitors are on hand to support and advise you through this difficult period of time, assisting in the negotiation of the various disputes that can arise concerning children. To speak to a solicitor regarding your concerns please don’t hesitate to call 0845 050 1958, or alternatively you can email us.