'Divorce too easy', says senior judge

Is it too easy to get a divorce these days? 'Yes,' according to one senior judge, who yesterday said that ending a marriage has become a basic form-filling exercise.

Judge handing down verdict divorce too easy
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Senior judge Sir Paul Coleridge, who presided over the divorce of Sir Paul and Heather McCartney, said obtaining a divorce these days is "easier than getting a driving licence."

He blamed "a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour" for the decline of marriage and is now calling on the Government to set up an independent commission to reform marriage, divorce and family laws.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live yesterday, he said: "Divorce is easy in the sense that obtaining a divorce is easier than getting a driving licence. It's a form-filling exercise and you'll get your divorce in six weeks if everyone agrees."

He went on to describe the impact on the family and wider society, pointing out that 3.8 million children are left at the mercy of the courts because of the break-down of their parents' marriage.

He also blamed the 'meltdown' of the family for fuelling youth crime, child abuse, drug addiction, binge drinking, truancy and misbehaviour in schools.

"The whole of society is affected by this," he said. "Everyone in the land, from the Royal Family downwards, is now affected by family breakdown.

"It affects the lives of children themselves, it affects the lives of their parents. The wider family gets caught up in it. It then ripples out to the local community, the schools and then into the wider community."

Although divorce rates are down (2009 saw the lowest rate of divorce for 35 years), this is linked to fewer people getting married, with those that do being more committed to each other than couples in the past.

Meanwhile, official figures show that the average marriage lasts just over 10 years, but couples who live together without tying the knot are likely to break up within three years.

What do you think? Is it too easy to get a divorce (or maybe it's too easy to get married in the first place?) Leave a comment below...