Alternatives to Divorce

Aug 24, 2015 by

The Ashley-Madison hackings are about to unleash a tsunami of unhappiness in a million homes throughout the UK, affecting the lives of two million adults and probably as many children again, assuming that each family has an average of 2 children. Were this an outbreak of flu it would be scaled as an epidemic with emergency measures put in place. We live in a society of “one-strike and you are out”.  Already the papers report that some divorce proceedings have been initiated. The response of some media commentators has been to make light of the issue. For example: “Perhaps the Ashley-Madison hack contains a lesson about openness and acceptance.” (Katie Glass Sunday Tines August 23).  My Week in the Saturday Times has a fictional wife looking out of a window and saying: ““There’s a traffic warden out there, weeping. There’s a lot of screaming and shouting. Two policemen are...

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Why there’s no such thing as gay adultery in UK law

Aug 1, 2015 by

By Jennifer Tracey and Rebecca Smith, BBC: A woman who was unable to divorce her husband on the grounds of adultery because he had affairs with men wants the law changed. Anna and her husband were married for 20 years before she discovered he was having 10 different sexual relationships with men. He denied everything, but the pictures and jokes she found on his phone left her in no doubt about what was going on. When she contacted a lawyer to obtain a divorce, she assumed there would be two grounds open to her – adultery or unreasonable behaviour. Instead, she was surprised to find adultery was not an option. This was because her husband had sex with other men and not with a woman. In the UK, adultery can only occur between members of the opposite sex and must involve vaginal intercourse. She opted to divorce him on...

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Further evidence for the link between family breakdown and economic inequality

Jun 2, 2015 by

by Peter Franklin, Conservative Home: Compared to most other western countries, America has high levels of income inequality and low levels of social mobility. It is often assumed that the former is responsible for the latter – because, like the rungs on a ladder, the wider the gap between different parts of the income spectrum, the harder it is to climb. But according to a brilliant article by Aparna Mathur on the Brookings website, growing inequality hasnot resulted in lower social mobility: “Over the past 35 years, after-tax real incomes for the top 1 percent have grown by 200 percent, but real incomes for the bottom quintile have only grown by 48 percent. “But despite this rise in income inequality, economic mobility in the U.S. has remained largely unchanged, according to a new study which measures mobility as the likelihood of a child in the bottom quintile rising to...

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Cardinal Nichols’ criticism of faithful priests is deeply disturbing

Mar 26, 2015 by

By John Smeaton, SPUC: I am deeply disturbed by Cardinal Nichols’ criticism of the 461 brave priests who signed a letter upholding the unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and Holy Communion. In the letter, which was published in the Catholic Heraldyesterday, priests from all over England and Wales pledged to remain faithful to Catholic teaching and to offer true pastoral care to all those who find themselves in difficult situations. A statement made by Cardinal Nichols spokesman said: “Every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. It is my understanding that this has been taken up in every diocese, and that channels of communication have been established.” It continued: “The pastoral experience and concern of all priests in these matters are of great importance and are welcomed by the Bishops. Pope Francis has asked for a period of spiritual...

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Losing track of marriage and divorce

Feb 6, 2015 by

By Carolyn Moynihan, MercatorNet: The US Census Bureau may drop key questions from its community survey. Experts object. Does divorce matter? Ask the children whose loyalties and affections are torn when parents go their separate ways. Ask the woman who struggles to maintain her standard of living on a reduced income. Ask the man who has to support two households out of his income. Ask the government departments that provide social assistance to broken families. And while you are at it, ask urban planners who need to ensure there will be housing for the percentage of families that are likely to divide in two. These are by no means all the repercussions of divorce but they are serious enough to illustrate why demographers, sociologists and economists, among others, are keenly interested in the matter. They also suggest why researchers across the political spectrum in the United States were stunned...

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Four million children miss out on Christmas with both parents

Dec 19, 2014 by

By Harry Benson, The Marriage Foundation: I don’t remember my first few Christmases as a child. In any case I only had three of them before my mum and dad decided to call it a day. The first Christmas that I remember vividly was when I was about eleven. By then, my mother had remarried a lovely man who has been a brilliant stepfather ever since. But a ‘father figure’ – however wonderful he might be – is not the same as having a ‘father’ around. My most emotive childhood memories involve the few times a year that I saw my real father. Think what could have been if we’d all been one happy family. It wasn’t to be. As an adult, my biggest issues have concerned my father and how that has in turn affected my own marriage and fatherhood. That’s a story for another day. Suffice to say...

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