Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions secretary, is examining series of new policies aimed at reducing the "stigma" surrounding counselling and relationship support services.
Under the plans, which were presented to ministers at the social justice cabinet meeting earlier this month, midwives, GPs and registrars will be encouraged to talk to couples about their relationships.
They will then direct couples to one of a series accredited relationship support services to help bolster their relationships. Employers could also be encouraged to play a more active role in signposting relationship support services to their staff.
The policies, which will be unveiled this summer, come amid concerns that family breakdown is costing taxpayers billions every year.
In December last year Mr Duncan Smith launched the Family Stability Review, which is aimed at gathering information on how families are changing, which are most at risk of failing and how the state can do more to keep them together.
In June he will present a series of policies intended to reduce the levels of family breakdown. Officials have proposed a series of measures to both cement relationships and help couples at risk of splitting up.
Under one proposal antenatal classes would include optional sessions aimed at strengthening relationships and preparing couples for the potential stress of having a child.
There are also ongoing discussions about increasing the level of relationship education in schools.
Ministers are keen to ensure that the policies do not solely focus on the young, with the focus on GPs intended to help reduce the number of “silver-splitters” who choose to separate as they approach retirement age.
Andrew Selous, a Tory MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for strengthening couple relationships, is a significant supporter of the measures.
Earlier this year Lord Freud, the welfare minister, said in an article for The Telegraph earlier this year that marriage needs to be "put back into its rightful place" after a surge in the number of children being brought up by unmarried parents.
He pointed to a study by the Relationships Foundation think-tank estimating that family breakdown in the UK currently costs the public purse £46 billion a year – or £1,541 for every taxpayer.
The estimate includes spending on children in care and a proportion of the costs of the health, education and criminal justice systems.
A series of studies have linked family breakdown with children failing at school, becoming unemployed, getting involved in crime and suffering mental health problems.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of couples cohabiting couples with dependent children has nearly doubled over the past 20 years and now reached 1.7 million. The number of single parent families has risen from 2.4 million to almost 3 million over the same period.
Mr Duncan Smith said last week: "We know that family breakdown – or a damaged parental relationship – can have a devastating impact on children’s prospects as they grow up.
"Whereas when families are strong and stable the children tend to have better life chances. That’s why this government has taken action to support families and thereby give children the best start in life.”
The Marriage Foundation, a think tank, has called for state spending to concentrate on families with young children, because this is the time when family relationships are under the greatest pressure and have the highest chance of breaking up.
Chris Sherwood, a policy adviser: “We at Relate really welcome these ideas. We know there is a stigma attached to accessing relationship support, and GPs and registrars can play a critical role in helping. We want to see a change in culture which sees accessing help for relationships as the normal thing to do.”