Judge: time to halt damage done by broken marriages

One of England’s most senior family court judges says the time has come to halt the damage being done by broken marriages.

Sir Paul Coleridge will today launch a new group to promote marriage and tackle Britain’s ‘divorce addiction’.

He says that waiting for the Government to do anything about the mess is “merely an excuse” for inactivity.


“Marriage is not something that falls out of the sky ready-made”, he said, “It involves endless hard work, compromises, forgiveness and love.

“However right the person is, they might not be right two years later. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you appear to be to your partner at the beginning, you will begin to display faults that we all have.

“In order for a relationship to last, you have to hang in there and adjust and change and alter and understand.


“Long, stable marriages are carved out of the rock of human stubbornness and selfishness and difficulties.”

Sir Paul hit out at the trend for glitzy, expensive weddings promoted by glossy, celebrity magazines and Hollywood films.

He said: “The more we have spent on weddings, the greater the rate of family breakdown.”

And he points to solid evidence showing that married couples are more likely to stay together than cohabiting couples.


It is highly unusual for a sitting judge to be so actively involved in a campaign, but Sir Paul says he cannot remain silent about the harm that is being done.

He told the Daily Mail: “We don’t traditionally comment on matters of policy, but there are very few people who have had as much experience of what is going on as the family judiciary”.

He added: “We have watched it get worse and worse and worse. The time for sucking our teeth is over. Waiting for government or others to take action is merely an excuse for moaning and inactivity.”

Four other leading figures are joining with Sir Paul. They are: Baroness Deech, Lord Justice Toulson, Baroness Shackleton and Baroness Butler-Sloss.