big-wedding

Plummeting Divorce Rates: Men Behaving Better

Divorce rates are down by 27% since the early 2000s, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But why? What is going on? It’s nothing to do with fewer people marrying. Wedding rates are down 10-15% during the 2000s. Yet there are still at least two weddings for every divorce.…

unhappy-cohabitation

Don’t stay together for the sake of the children?

“Don’t stay together for the sake of the children” trumpets the family law organisation Resolution in today’s Guardian, following their new survey of 514 young people aged 14-22 who had experienced parental separation an average of ten years earlier. 82% of these young people said that “I’d rather my parents separated or divorced rather than stay together if…

christmasimage1

Seven secrets of a highly successful Christmas!

For some, Christmas might seem like a piece of cake. For others, it is more like a cold turkey. We expect a perfect Christmas that should be just the way we like it. We dream of a house filled with laughter and joy as the family opens beautifully wrapped presents under a glorious tree and…

56 Happy divorce

Out of the blue divorces

Imagine you’re a divorce lawyer – and indeed you may be. Now imagine that every time one of your clients comes to see you to finalise their divorce papers, you routinely ask them a couple of questions about the state of their marriage. Six months to a year before the divorce, you ask, how happy were…

Harry & Kate

No trouble! Why our 29th year of marriage has been the best

For years it was the bane of our marriage. My default position for everyday life was this: “I assume I’m in trouble with Kate, unless proven otherwise.” Of course that assumption wasn’t real. Of course I wasn’t actually always in trouble. Well, maybe sometimes I was in trouble. Yes, she was sometimes cross with me.…

53 The Marriage Gap between rich and poor

The Marriage Gap: Almost all new parents are married if rich; Few are married if poor. Why?

Marriage is commonplace and almost universal among the rich whereas it’s rare and unusual among the poor. This is the remarkable finding from our new study released today, co-authored with University of Lincoln Professor Stephen McKay and using data from the Family Resources Survey and General Household Survey. (See report in Sunday Telegraph) Whereas 87% of the richest new…

high-expectations

Two to tango?

I imagine many people will wonder why I even have to ask the question. Of course it takes two to tango, they answer. Especially today, in an age of real equality, husband and wife need to play their part equally. Both are responsible. But I’m not so sure. I think our assumption that ‘equal’ means ‘equal…

wedding

Feminists should embrace marriage

Rather late in the day, I happened to come aross an article in the Guardian written a year ago by Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism and proud new owner of a British Empire Medal. Laura was about to get married. In her article, she discussed the dilemma she faced that marriage and feminism might be mutually exclusive.…