Family trumps career in life survey story

Marriage and children are more important than material possessions or careers, according to a survey of what people think are life's greatest achievements.

Leading Family Lawyer Deborah Jeff comments on the story...

Friends of the Elderly found a remarkable similarity between what over-55s thought were the best things they have achieved so far and what young people saw as their top aspirations. The charity asked 4,000 people about what they thought constituted a life lived well. It found that 25% of over-55s said their greatest achievement was a marriage that lasts for life, while 19% said becoming a parent was the best thing they had done so far. The responses from 18-24 year-olds showed that 26% also thought a marriage that lasts for life was their most important aspiration, while being happy was ranked in second place with 14%.

Deborah Jeff, Head of Family at Seddons Solicitors in London, comments: "It is extremely refreshing to hear that a marriage which endures is at the top of the list across the generations.  Particularly in an age when more people cohabit than ever before, it is commendable that people are hanging on to what some may call 'old-fashioned values' and the principle of marriage.  Sir Paul Coleridge’s Marriage Foundation has therefore been launched at the most appropriate time to seize such thinking by society.

I have commented previously on the benefits of couples taking the Marriage Preparation Course and the equivalent secular courses.  These prepare couples for the stresses and strains of marriage and equip them with the skills to help overcome typical issues that can arise.  But that education can begin earlier in life.  Now is the ideal time to start educating teenagers in school about the benefits of marriage and what is needed to maximise their chance of having a relationship which lasts a life time.  For example, looking out for similar interests, a reflection of each other’s values, similar aspirations for children, how to communicate effectively in relationships. etc. 

"The current recession is adding to relationship pressures without doubt but perhaps it has also caused people to reflect on what really is most important in life apart from a glittering career and the material things that can bring."

Deborah Jeff is a keen legal commentator of high-profile divorces and marriages in the media and has specialised in Family Law throughout her 17-year career, with the majority of her work being complex financial disputes within divorce.

She acts for clients from many different backgrounds, including those in the media and entertainment world and is known for handling the most intricate of financial disputes, often with offshore trust structures and difficult tax issues.

Seddonss a 20-year-old central London law firm (based at 5 Portman Square) with a total of over 70 staff, including 19 partners.

Chambers notes ‘This team offers clients the full range of family services, and is particularly noted for its expertise on divorce proceedings’ and the Legal 500 says 'Deborah Jeff provides an excellent level of service at Seddons'.