A new website has been launched in an attempt to promote and raise public awareness about the positive aspects of marriage. The site “The Marriage Foundation” is the initiative of Paul Coleridge, a High Court Judge and Barrister with over 30 years experience specialising in family law.

According to their website, the objectives are simple – encourage couples to consider marriage rather than long term cohabitation, and if their relationship is broken, to try to fix it rather than opting for disposal through the divorce courts.

The Marriage Foundation places particular emphasis on the influence and role marriage plays in the lives of children.  It believes that children learn and develop their ability to form and maintain successful relationships in adulthood by observing and mimicking their parents’ relationship.    The Marriage Foundation boldly claims that those children raised in a single parent environment or a “broken home” are less likely to marry, or even aspire to marry, in the future.

The Marriage Foundation believe they can change social attitudes, increase the number of marriages and reduce the number of divorces by providing a comprehensive media reference library to provide advice, information and support to those considering marriage, or to those considering dissolution of their marriage.

There can be no doubt that the concept of a child raised by both parents in a happy and stable relationship is to be applauded.  However, serious consideration needs to be given to the effect on children where their parents’ relationship is not so harmonious.  Parents who stay together solely for the benefit of their children may be misguided as to the extent of the impact their negative relationship has on a child.  Our family law solicitors understand those who have considered divorce to be the only option have not taken their decision lightly, especially where there are children involved, and they should not feel forced to remain together simply to fit what they believe to be a social norm.

Theoretically the creation of the Marriage Foundation to promote a better society through marriage and stability for children is a positive step. However, in practice, changing social attitudes is likely to be a marathon rather than a sprint.