Top judge: divorce is easier than getting driving licence

Divorce has become a “form-filling exercise” which is easier than getting a driving licence, a senior family judge said this week.

Sir Paul Coleridge criticised the “cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour” and warned that a divorce can go through in just six weeks.

And he added that family breakdown now affects everyone in the country – “from the Royal Family downwards”.


The senior judge has previously blamed drug addiction, binge drinking and bad behaviour in schools on the “meltdown” of the family.

Yesterday the judge, who is in the High Court Family Division, described the problem of family breakdown as “huge”.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: “Divorce is easy in the sense that obtaining a divorce is easier than getting a driving licence.”

He added: “It’s a form-filling exercise and you’ll get your divorce in six weeks if everyone agrees.”


Mr Justice Coleridge also commented that the stigma attached to divorce has disappeared. And he said it seems the numbers of children being affected by family breakdown is going up.

“The whole of society is affected by this,” he said. “Everyone in the land, from the Royal Family downwards, is now affected by family breakdown.

“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.”


The Centre for Social Justice think-tank has previously put the cost of family breakdown at between £20-24 billion per year.

But in November, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith indicated that the actual cost to society could be up to £100 billion when a range of factors such as crime and lost productivity are taken into account.

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