Marriage counselling could save Britain billions

Couples who undertake marriage counselling could save taxpayers millions of pounds every year by not breaking up, southportgb.comreports.

A new government-backed report found that the initial outlay of marriage counselling could end up paying for itself some 11 times over, with the social costs from couples breaking up being saved.

It is estimated that, because of extra benefits for single parents, housing costs and issues involving the criminal justice system, divorce actually costs Britain somewhere between £20 billion and £44 billion every single year.

As such, spending out a small percentage on this in marriage counselling could help couples and Britain as a whole from having to foot the expensive divorce bill.

The report put forward three possible scenarios that could be rolled out individually or collectively, with the most applicable option being offered to each couple. These included a so-called marriage preparation programme, a series of relationship education sessions and professional counselling for couples that have run into trouble or simply considering divorce.

In early tests, it was discovered that those who'd undergone such sessions were more likely to change their behaviour and vowed to communicate much better.

Commenting on the findings, Conservative MP Andrew Selous told telegraph.co.uk: "If you look at the increased benefits bill in terms of supporting single parents; if you look at the extra housing for individuals when couples separate; if you look at educational underachievement... there is a whole host of government budgets you could go through and say that these costs would be less if you have more stable families."