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Jan 3 Times interview

Date: January 4, 2012

Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times, interviewed Sir Paul Coleridge about the setting up of The Marriage Foundation (starting on the front page of the newspaper and covering two inside pages).


“My message is mend it – don’t end it. Over 40 years of working in the family justice system, I have seen the fall-out of these broken relationships. There are an estimated 3.8 million children currently caught up in the family justice system, I personally believe that’s a complete scandal.”

“My focus is on the children. I am unashamedly advocating marriage as the gold standard for couples where children are involved. And this is not just a cosy club of people who are happily married and can say, ‘Look how well I have done’. It will, I hope, appeal to people of every class, creed, and ethnic background – including those who are divorced.”

“Sir Paul said that he was not approaching the issue from a moralistic view so much as a practical one, taking account of the damage of family break-up to children and the cost to society.”

“Family breakdown is the scourge of society. It effects everyone from the Royal Family downwards. It is a myth that children, even older ones, don’t care. They care greatly and a break-up shocks the whole foundation of the family.”

“I get intensely frustrated: I see hundreds and thousands of people traipsing through the courts and nothing is being done about the problems that sent them here.”

“Marriage does require a massive input, but it is still the best arrangement for children. You are ten times more likely to stay together until the children are 16 if you are married. Recycle your rubbish by all means, but be very slow to recycle your partner.”

“Marriage, as the best structure in which to raise children, needs to be affirmed, strengthened, and supported.”

In its leading article The Times commented: Paul Coleridge’s “aim of strengthening the institution at the heart of personal relationships and the raising of children in love, stability and security is surely to be applauded.”

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