Poorest 'damaging children's lives by spurning marriage'

Marriage has become a “middle-class secret”, with couples on low incomes much more likely to live together rather than marry, says a report.

It accuses the government of failing to support couples from poorer backgrounds to make an informed choice on whether and how to commit to each other, resulting in a higher risk of family instability if they have children.

The report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), which was co-founded by the former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith to tackle poverty and family breakdown, said that cohabiting parents were almost four times more likely to separate before their child’s fifth birthday than married parents. It said that the government should stop treating cohabiting and married couples as one when publishing

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