‘Easier divorce will wreck even more lives’

Divorce is hugely damaging to society and it shouldn’t be liberalised further, a prominent columnist has said.

Rod Liddle has hit out at a new campaign by The Times newspaper, which has decided to push for no-fault divorce and heterosexual civil partnerships.

Writing for The Spectator, he said society shouldn’t ignore the facts of the harm caused by divorce.

‘Misery’

Liddle said he was initially delighted when he read that The Times wanted to overhaul divorce law as he could think of “no post-war social development that has brought more misery to more people than the ease with which divorces are handed out these days”.

But he was astonished that the newspaper was campaigning to make it easier, rather than “substantially more difficult”, to divorce.

“At the moment, 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce: perhaps The Times will not be content until that number is 100 per cent”, he said.

‘Catastrophic’

Liddle added that the difficulties for children are “catastrophic”.

He said that generally speaking “those brought up by single parents do worse at school, are more likely to suffer emotional and mental problems, more likely to be unemployed or end up in low skilled work”.

He said that such children are also more likely to be in trouble with the police, take drugs, be promiscuous, and end up in temporary partnerships and perpetuate the problem.

He concluded: “It is true, whether we like it or not: children are best brought up by their genetic mum and dad, who are married, not merely cohabiting. They are the ones with the best outcomes.”

Coalition for Marriage

Responding to The Times’s campaign last week, the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) warned that weakening the law on marriage causes great damage to society.

The organisation fears introducing no-fault divorce could result in the loss of 10,000 marriages a year and reduce marriage to that of “a tenancy contract”.

C4M also warns that weakening the law would put “the most vulnerable at risk” by removing protections for those who become disabled or suffer a financial setback but cannot currently be divorced on these grounds.

Related Resources