Written evidence from Mrs Sharon Benefer [HAB0145]
This is a personal response, as a married woman, to this consultation. Please note that the stats that I have used I have got from the Christian Institute.
- Marriage is a public commitment, using wedding vows, which gives families great stability. This should be recognised by the Government and promoted rather than undermining marriage by giving these rights to those who choose not to be committed.
- Parental separation is much higher for those cohabiting compared to those who are married. More than half of children of cohabiting parents will experience their parents’ separation by the age of 5, whereas this is only 15% for children whose parents are married.
- Family breakdown is extremely expensive for society, costing the public purse over £50bn each year. This will only worsen if the special legal status of marriage is not maintained and promoted.
- Creating another additional relationship status is completely unnecessary. Couples either choose to get married or not. Extending rights to an extra ‘cohabiting’ group undermines marriage and creates confusion. The Government should be raising awareness of the benefits of getting married and the legal problems with cohabiting.