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Goa to make premarital counselling mandatory to curb rise in divorces


In a bid to curb the rising cases of divorce, the Goa government has decided to make premarital counselling mandatory for couples. The state government is going to soon come up with a policy regarding it.

Goa law minister Nilesh Cabral has announced that premarital counselling sessions for couples registering for marriage will be introduced in the state due to a rise in the number of divorces. The state government’s department of registration will carry out the programme in the 15 days between registration and solemnisation of marriages.

“We are coming up with a new policy to make premarital counselling mandatory in the state. We may also rope in religious institutions for the same,” he said.

The minister said, “Many divorces are taking place within six months to one year of marriage. As a policy, we thought that premarital counselling should be made compulsory to create awareness among couples.”

Exact number of divorces not known

While the minister said he did not have data on the exact number of divorce cases reported each month, he claimed the number has increased in recent times. Cabral added that the Goa Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (GIPARD) is currently working out the nuances of the premarital counselling course and its format.

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The Catholic community in Goa already has premarital counselling for couples held by the Church. However, the government will now be holding counselling sessions for couples across religions and this will be a first in Goa.

Amendment required

To introduce the programme, however, an amendment will have to be brought about in the existing laws for which the government may bring about an ordinance in the next session of the Goa Legislative Assembly slated to be held in July.


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