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Former family judge: give tax breaks for long marriages

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March 28, 2024

A former High Court family judge has called for married couples to be given tax breaks if they stay together for a long time.

At a debate organised by The Times and his campaign group The Marriage Foundation, Sir Paul Coleridge said that a married couple’s tax burden should be reduced when they reach certain anniversaries.

He claimed that “increasing the tax allowance at five years, ten years and so on” would demonstrate that staying married does not cost the government money, unlike getting a divorce. Not only that, he added, such a move would “send a message to couples to stay together”.

Sir Paul felt that the coalition government’s tax break for married couples was not good enough. Additionally, he questioned why the current government does not “support people by incentivising sticking it out”.

The Marriage Foundation, which Sir Paul Coleridge founded, has a history of criticising the government for not sufficiently supporting married people. In December, they published a report which claimed that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn Statement “specifically discouraged marriage”.

During the debate, Sir Paul also said that couples who cohabit, rather than marry, should not have children. In 2013, he made similar comments in an interview with The Telegraph.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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