Last year, 2008, Australia's divorce rate fell to only 2.2 divorces per 1000 population, the lowest in 20 years. Marriages increased 2.1 percent, to a yearly total of 118,756 per year.
Marriages are lasting longer than before. In 1989 the typical time from marriage to divorce was 10.2 years - now it's 12.6 years.
That's the good news.
Not so good news is that the proportion of couples living together before marriage is now 77 percent. If such living-together couples eventually do marry, most are more likely to end up divorcing.
By living together unmarried they've proved that marriage means little to them; so if things get a bit tough, they tend to give up on it.
Whose job is it to warn young people that non-marriage "relationships" ruin both one's own life and that of one's "partner" - and especially that of any poor children who have turned up?
Let's hope Catholic schools are doing this job. Few others are likely to.
ARNOLD JAGO (DR)