§ Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made with regard to the work of the interdepartmental working party on marriage.
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)
The interdepartmental working party today issued a consultation paper following on from the seminar for researchers, service providers and other interested parties held on 3rd April. The papers for the seminar have been published and are available in the Library. The results of this consultation exercise will inform the tender specifications being prepared for the funding of pilot projects which have particular potential for reducing the incidence and costs of marriage breakdown.
The working party has concluded its mapping exercise of existing services. It intends to publish a directory of marriage support services in the summer.
The mapping exercise has highlighted the lack of information about social attitudes to and expectations of marriage and also about the reasons some marriages are so very successful, when others sadly end in divorce or separation. Tender specifications will shortly be published for research into this field.