Foundation set to champion marriage

First published in Lifestyle

Harbinder Purewal, family law expert at Thursfields LLP, has given his view on The Marriage Foundation, an organisation being championed by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Coleridge.

The overall purpose of the Marriage Foundation is to be a national champion for marriage, strengthening the institution for the benefit of children, adults and society as a whole.

The foundation, due to launch in May, claim that even at the most mundane level, the financial cost to the nation of family breakdown exceeds £42 billion a year.

Foundation chairman, Justice Coleridge said: "For over 40 years of working in the family justice system, I have seen the fall-out from these broken relationships. There are an estimated 3.8 million children currently caught up in the system. I personally think that this is a complete scandal … my focus is on the children. I am unashamedly advocating marriage as the golden standard for couples where children are involved. I desperately want to avoid a moral crusade."

The announcement has caught many by surprise, as it has been made by one of the country’s most senior judges.

Harbinder Purewal, matrimonial solicitor at Thursfields said: "Although the comments made by Mr Justice Coleridge will gain much coverage, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of people enter into marriage with the intention that it is to be a union for life.

"Marriages will come to an end for a variety of reasons but from my experience it is a complete misconception that couples do not seek to work or explore ways of addressing their issues before they come to the conclusion that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

"The first question I ask my clients is whether the marriage is really at an end and what further steps can be taken to address any issues in the relationship before divorce is considered.

"The establishment of any support for marriages is to be welcomed. Unfortunately, marriage may not turn out as many envisaged and remaining in an unhappy marriage may prove to be more distressing for those involved as opposed to separating."

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