Steve Doughty of the Daily Mail 14th July 2011, reported a top judge saying, ‘Getting a divorce is easier than getting a driving licence.’
Sir Paul Coleridge said a cultural revolution has made it possible to end a marriage quickly with a basic form-filling exercise. The result is that 3.8million children are now left at the mercy of the courts because of parents breaking up.
Mr Justice Coleridge is said to have repeatedly called for legal reforms to clear up the mess resulting from the decline in marriage.”
Says, Doughty, “He has blamed youth crime, child abuse, drug addiction, binge drinking, truanting and bad behaviour in schools on the ‘meltdown’ of the family.”
Mr Justice Coleridge wants the government to set up an independent commission to reform marriage and divorce laws. “He described the problem of family breakdown as huge and condemned the ease of divorce.”
“Sir Paul blamed family break-up on social changes including the shift in attitudes towards cohabitation and increasing numbers of children born outside marriage.
“’We’ve had a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour,’ the judge said. ‘We need to have a reasonable debate about it and decide what needs to be done – and I don’t mean Government,’ he said. ‘They didn’t cause the problem.’“
“It was statistically proven parents were far more likely to stay together until their children’s 16th birthday if they were married, he said.
“Official figures suggest that an average marriage lasts around 11 years, but a cohabitation is likely to break up in three if the partners do not marry.”
The real casualties are the 3.8 million children left to the mercy of the courts. Mr justice wants to see reforms to the divorce laws, but what about the break-up of unmarried partners? The USA is in the same boat, perhaps even worse. Chuck Colson suggests one resolution to the social mess we are in resulting from the decline in marriage is to go back 200 years and read Jane Austen’s “Sense And Sensibility”.
“While it may be “a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” as Austin satirically put it, — she would make sure her readers learned a more serious point: That the route to marital happiness is recognizing that there is a moral order, and that we ignore it at our peril.” Colson makes a good argument for a solution to marital and family breakdown, to accept Jane Austen’s marital advice.