Report highlights a link between marital status and relationship breakdown

A report released by The Marriage Foundation has found that almost all intact couples with young teenagers are married.

The key findings of the report are:

45 per cent of young teenagers aged between 13-15 are not living with both of their parents
Half of all family breakdown happens during the first two years
Amongst the parents who remain intact, 93 per cent are married
According to The Marriage Foundation, this major new research has provided compelling new evidence to show that couples who don’t marry, rarely offer their children a secure and stable home.

Of the 47 per cent of children born to unmarried parents today, The Marriage Foundation’s report predicts that just 11 per cent of these children will reach 16 with unmarried parents still together. The remainder will either marry or split up whilst those who remain unmarried and still together are a small minority.

This report highlights concerns by The Marriage Foundation that the Government overlooked the strong link between marital status and marital breakdown, instead focussing on ‘long term stable relationships’when developing family policies.

The Marriage Foundation’s study is based on the results of a survey of 40,000 households and was carried out between 2010 and 2011.

Harry Benson from The Marriage Foundation said: “The report provides solid evidence that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents.

The contrast between married and unmarried parents who remain intact by the time their children reach their teenage yeas demonstrates that marital status plays a crucial role in family breakdown.

With family breakdown costing an estimated £46 billion a year – that’s to say, more than the entire defence budget – in addition to the immeasurable social damage, it is clearly in the interest of government and the taxpayer to work to counter this devastating trend.

Despite the evidence behind the stability of marriage, the Government seems fixed on airbrushing marriage from family policy papers.

Whilst government policy disregards the crucial role marriage plays in helping couples stay together, the epidemic of family breakdown will roll on. Almost all couples who remain intact whilst bringing up their children are married. The most family-friendly Government of all time – as promised in 2010 – needs to recognise this hard evidence and do something about it.”

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