Community Marriage Policies in UK - 6/99

owner-smartmarriages owner-smartmarriages
Sun Jun 20 09:40:06 EDT 1999

from: Smart Marriages 

This is a copy of an email sent by Nicholas Gulliford to 
Brit candidate Jackie Ballard and her reply.  Sounds to us
like Nicholas should be running for office himself!  -diane sollee
Dear Jackie

There's no need to reply at all if you don't feel you have anything to

You are quoted at BBC Online:

For the Liberal Democrats, Jackie Ballard said: "This is a long overdue
reform. Forcing warring couples to enter compulsory information sessions
never seemed very sensible.

"More needs to be done to help families before they get to the stage of
divorce and this should be voluntary," she said.

Hear, Hear! to these points! But I hope incentives can be introduced to
encourage responsible behaviour.

HMG is tackling the problem from the wrong end. What I think is required

1. Circle Time in Primary Schools - leading to
2. Life Skills/Relationships through drama etc. in Secondary
Schools/youth groups - leading to
3. Marriage preparation before marriage (incentives - lower wedding
licence fee/transferable personal tax allowances) - leading to
4. Marriage enhancement after 1st child (incentive - continued
transferable tax allowances) - leading to
5. Parenting courses (incentive - higher (taxable) child benefit)
6. Relationship evaluation/counselling/mediation prior to
reconciliation/divorce (incentive - much lower divorce cost)

Qualifying programmes for 3 - 6 must be based on valid research.

There's more to it, but these are the essentials, in my view. And I
think it needs to be explained as a package of measures, as what is
required is a change of culture.

HMG must revise the recording of marriage/divorce statistics, so the
ratio for each local authority area can be published, and performance
league tables produced. These tables should be based not so much on the
absolute ratio, as the improvement over time achieved in each area, as a
consequence of measures taken, and programmes democratically introduced,
by local decision makers. I'm sure a "bottom up" approach is preferable,
but it must be supported by a few "top down" measures to provide the
framework and the incentives.

Best wishes in the Lib-Dem leadership contest. And thanks for speaking
up about support for families before the divorce stage is reached.

Yours sincerely
gulliford.n at
Prepare/Enrich Network UK and
UK Community Marriage Policies
(last updated 17th August 1998) see also see also see also see also (Greater Grand Rapids Community
Marriage Policy)
-----Original Message-----
From: Jackie Ballard <jackieballard at>
To: gulliford.n at <gulliford.n at>
Cc: jackieballard at
<jackieballard at>
Date: 17 June 1999 17:15
Subject: Re: Community Marriage Policies

>In-Reply-To: <007e01beb8a8$30e0adc0$f8cb2cc3 at nickgull>
>I'm very sorry, I received your long email and did not reply - I hope
>understand that I am rather busy at the moment.  So, I will give you a
>considered response later, rather than sooner, if that is OK?  jackie
----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------

"Around the Coalition" shares information on marriage and divorce and on 
skills-based educational approaches.  Opinions expressed are not 
necessarily shared by members of the Coalition. 

-To UNSUBSCRIBE to this list, send a message to: majordomo at 
The subject line is unimportant.  In the message body, on the very first 
line, write: "unsubscribe smartmarriages" in the message body (WITHOUT 
the quotation marks).  Send this message and you will no longer receive 
mail from this list. 

-To SUBSCRIBE to the FREE CMFCE on-line newsletter, send a "subscribe" 
message by reply email or send to: list at 

ALL past newsletter postings are archived at:  

The 3rd Annual Smart MarriagesÆ/Happy Families conference will be held
July 1-4, 1999 in Washington, DC. PRE and POST conference full-day
training/certifying institutes are June 30 & July 1 AND July 5 & 6. 
Registration materials are available on the website 
or request a brochure by return email.  

Tapes of all presentations at the 1997  & 1998 Smart Marriages 
conferences: 800-241-7785 or at tapes at  Audio tapes
are $10, video tapes are $24.95.  

To list your program in the Directory of Providers visit the 

Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
202-362-3332  (FAX 202-362-0973)   Email: cmfce at 

More information about the SmartMarriages mailing list