Q: How many children won't be with both their birth parents this Christmas?
A: Over 4 million

18-Dec-2014

One in three children face Christmas without both parents. For the sake of the next generation, we need to rediscover the importance of prior commitment before having children.

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Better and better off apart: Whither the new ‘family test’?

08-Dec-2014

In the Treasury’s Autumn Statement this week, new rates of tax credit were introduced for the year 2015-16. These show small but significant increases in Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits.

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The Times: "Revealed: shocking cost of divorce for children"

24-Nov-2014

Sir Paul Coleridge: "Children almost never perform at their highest potential when their emotional life is chaotic, and family breakdown is the arch contributor to that. How many more studies and statistics do we need before we all, including government,...

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Bleak prospects for teens who never marry, finds The Marriage Foundation

17-Nov-2014

Far fewer 20 year olds are predicted to marry than the previous generation; only 52 per cent of 20 year olds compared to 68 per cent of 40 year olds.

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Positive benefits of marriage 

  • Higher incomes and greater accumulation of wealth (and avoiding the loss of income that tends to follow the breakdown of relationships) See, for example, Zagorsky, Marriage and Divorce’s Impact on Wealth

    http://jos.sagepub.com/content/41/4/406.short

  • Improved health and wellbeing. One study suggests that ‘the size of the health gain from marriage is remarkable -it may be as large as the benefit from giving up smoking’

    www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/oswald/healthlong2005.pdf

  • Cohabiting people are significantly less happy in their relationships than married people, and children are happier when growing up with both biological parents (Understanding Society survey, ONS)

  • A typical finding of cross-national studies is that “much can be done to improve child wellbeing through economic and other supports where the institution of marriage has seriously weakened and cohabitation has become common. But even in nations that have the most extensive welfare measures, such as the Scandinavian countries and France, a substantial gap in child wellbeing remains between those children who grow up in intact families, and those who do not… all the evidence we have shows that individuals fare best, both in childhood and in later life, when they benefit from the economic and emotional investments of their natural parents who reside together continuously and cooperate in raising them.” Popenoe, D. 2009. Social Science and Public Policy. Vol 46, Number 5, pp. 429-436. 
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/h155411803161mv5/