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Family breakdowns ‘harming society’

Family breakdowns ‘harming society’

A senior judge has claimed that society is being damaged by the high number of couples getting divorced.

Family Division judge Sir Paul Coleridge warned that 3.8 million children are currently caught up in family court cases.

He added that the number shows no sign of coming down: "In fact, every indication is it's going up."

He said the issue of family breakdown "ripples out" into the wider community and affects society as a whole.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire that the whole of society was now affected by the issue, suggesting that people need to "re-educate" themselves about the value of stable relationships to stop the problem getting worse.

"Everyone in the land, from the Royal Family downwards, is now affected by family breakdown," he said.

"It affects the lives of children themselves, it affects the lives of their parents … the wider family gets caught up in it.

"It then ripples out to the local community, the schools and then into the wider community."

Ian Davies, Solicitor in IBB's Private Client Team, comments: "Whilst I disagree with the comment from a purely procedural and emotive point of view, I think what Sir Coleridge was driving at was that with a sea change in social ideals and trends, the stigma which used to be attached to Divorce now no longer exists and therefore the ignominy of being divorced means it is easier to bring about the breakdown of a relationship.

"Long gone are the times when people would marry for life. Whilst I still believe this remains the belief of those entering into marriage, with changing social pressures I honestly believe that not only is temptation far too easy, but fundamentally people have become very lazy and tend not to work at their relationships anywhere near as hard as they used to, when stigma was attached to Divorce. Perhaps also people today are far more independent, both financially and emotively than they used to be and as such the necessities of remaining within an unhappy relationship are no longer as strong.

"It is all too easy to get divorced now from a social perspective, and any cursory look around today's class rooms will show almost half of the children there will come from a home where a divorce has occurred. Primarily though in any divorce or relationship breakdown it is the children who will suffer the most and far greater concern needs to be attributed to those children by their parents where an unhappy relationship exists. By all means bring that unhappy relationship to an end, but ensure that the welfare of the children remain the primary focus rather than seeking to use them as pawns to try and garner a greater financial settlement from the other."

Our divorce lawyers in Amersham helps families across West London and Bucks. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 01494 790007 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.