A new report funded by the Department for Education has shown that marriage guidance and couples therapy could save the UK billions of pounds of public money.
The study has called to increase national awareness of the benefits of marriage counselling and couples therapy.
Every year the government spends between £20 billion and £44 billion in an attempt to tackle the long lasting problems left behind when marriages and relationships break down. The costs include extra benefits for single parents, housing costs and spending on health and the criminal justice system linked to family break-up.
The study concluded that for every pound spent on Relate couple counselling the public purse saves £11.40, while benefits from the Marriage Care preparation sessions could amount to £11.50 for every £1 spent on fees.
Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate, told The Telegraph: “Given that relationship breakdown is estimated to cost the UK economy tens of billions each year, it is clear that future investment in relationship support services will continue to bring very real financial and social benefits.”
Mark Molden, chief executive of Marriage Care added: “It’s not just about getting support when there’s a crisis, it’s about building and maintaining strong relationships which see people through everything that happens during our increasingly busy and fast-paced lives.”
The study identified three main types of couples therapy, each aimed at tackling different problems that couples of varying ages can face. A traditional marriage preparation programme was recommended for newly engaged couples, shorter “relationship education” sessions for established couples and professional counselling for those facing difficulties.
The study concluded by suggesting some successful relationship initiatives could pay for themselves more than 11 times over when the social cost of separation is taken into account.