Judge wants classes promoting monogamy to curb divorce

By Lenore Rice

Controversial High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge says married couples should take courses promoting monogamy in order to hold off divorce, and to protect their children from the consequences of a separation.

Sir Paul Coleridge is stepping down as a family division judge next year because of opposition from within the judiciary to his vocal support of traditional marriage. He last year criticised the Government's same-sex marriage legislation, and he is the founder of the Marriage Foundation think-tank.

Sir Paul is promoting "relationships education" at a conference in London, and will suggest that happily married couples should not wait for problems to emerge, but to instead take professional classes to help them strengthen their relationship. He believes modern couples need to have "personal restraint" and "self imposed boundaries" in order to curb the rate of divorce in the UK. He says children are the "real victims and casualties" of a divorce.

Sir Paul is not completely against divorce, and says he is glad that it is no longer a taboo that keeps people in cruel and violent relationships. He does however suggest an "inevitability" about marital problems, referring to the "eternally difficult subject of living with your partner in a monogamous long term relationship", and believes it is important for couples to equip themselves with the 'tools' to avoid potentially marriage-breaking problems.

While Sir Paul is largely focusing on adultery as a cause of divorce, recent studies suggest that it is not actually the biggest factor causing couples to separate. In fact, divorces resulting from infidelity are said to be decreasing. Instead, it is 'unreasonable behaviour' that is most commonly cited as the grounds for divorce, which can cover a broad range of things.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

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