Getting married: what does it really mean? Bella

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January 3, 2013

A recent survey by Girl Guiding UK found that only one in five girls sees getting married as a mark of success in life.

So Bella asks…

Have we fallen out of love with MARRIAGE?

YES

Marilyn Stowe, 53, family solicitor and resident legal expert on ITV1’s This Morning

Not so long ago, getting hitched was taken for granted and cohabiting without a marriage licence was seen as ‘living in sin’. These days social attitudes have changed, but getting married is so expensive that people are put off the idea.

Modern couples see no reason to rush up the aisle and many are wary of a broken marriage and the financial implications of a divorce settlement.

Statistics demonstrate that there are as many unmarried families as there are married.
Let’s face it, living together is easy – you just pool your income and set up home without any legal ties. It’s a lot simpler and cheaper than entering into a legally binding relationship.

I’m not surprised that many girls don’t see getting married as a priority.

Marriage used to provide a woman with financial security and enable her to give her children a future, but today we have careers and are doing well on our own.

We can also have kids without the social stigma of being an unmarried mum.

I believe many are avoiding marriage because of the ‘sharing principle’ – that if the marriage ends, the wealthier partner (often the man) should split their assets equally.

What’s more, because of the current state of our law, the wealthier party can walk away scot-free from a cohabiting relationship, often leaving mother and children with little or nothing. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

NO

Adele Parks, 43, bestselling author of romantic fiction