The Norwegian government has made a stand against increasing divorce rates in Norway by intervening in failing marriages and promoting ‘date nights’ and state funded couple counselling as a cure.
The Guardian has reported that Norway’s Populist ruling party are concerned that Divorce rates in Norway are at 40%. Solveig Horne, the new minister for children, equality and social inclusion, has stated “It is important to find small pockets of time where parents can be lovers”. Horne added “With state-run counselling offices, couples can learn more about how to be together before they have problems and talk things through when problems do arise,” . Horne draws from her own experiences of being divorced.
Whilst this initiative fails to recognise civil partners and the increasing number of cohabitees who choose not to be married but consider themselves a family unit, it is an imaginative enterprise designed to help couples at the stage before it is too late. Even if counselling doesn’t work, it could help separating couples achieve an amicable separation.
As a collaborative lawyer, I know first-hand that discussion and dialogue in an open forum is vital in achieving a cordial separation. If state funded couple counselling was available to those with a flagging marriage, civil partnership or long term relationship, it may be that open dialogue and conversation in a safe environment could be the answer to saving that relationship.