Written evidence from Mr John Mitchell [HAB0233]
The Rights of Cohabiting Partners
Almost every single piece of academic research on the family shows the superiority of traditional marriage over cohabitation. It is good for family stability, for children and for the couple themselves. Government must recognise this. More than half of the children of cohabiting parents will see their parents separate before their fifth birthday. This compares with only 15 per cent for children of married parents. I have witnessed the effect of these break-ups and Government must do everything in its power to promote marriage and through that the family. Deliberately going in the opposite direction would be madness.
The benefits of lifelong marriage in respect of crime, economic wellbeing, educational progress, substance misuse, mental and physical health and community life are obvious and well demonstrated. The clear gulf between marriage and cohabitation must be maintained. Our forebears saw this and maintained marriage for good reason.