Maryland Marriage Laws

§ 2-404.1 - Premarital preparation course

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Maryland Code - Family Law - Title 2: Marriage - Subtitle 4: Licensing and Performance

Premarital preparation course

(a) Marriage license fee discount.- (1) A county may discount a marriage license fee under § 2-404(a) of this subtitle if the couple to be married has completed, within 1 year before the date of the application for the license, a premarital preparation course that meets the requirements specified in this section. (2) The amount of any discount shall be determined by the county governing body. (b) Course description.- A premarital preparation course shall: (1) include instruction regarding: (i) conflict management; (ii) communication skills; (iii) financial responsibilities; and (iv) children and parenting responsibilities; and (2) consist of at least 4 hours of instruction. (c) Authorized instructors.- A premarital preparation course may be conducted by: (1) a clinical professional counselor or a clinical marriage and family therapist licensed under Title 17, Subtitle 3A of the Health Occupations Article; (2) a psychologist licensed under Title 18 of the Health Occupations Article; (3) a social worker licensed under Title 19 of the Health Occupations Article; (4) an official representative of a religious institution if the representative has relevant training; or (5) any other qualified provider approved by a county governing body. (d) Instructor registration affidavit.- (1) A premarital preparation course provider shall register with the clerk by filing a written affidavit containing: (i) the provider's name, address, and telephone number; (ii) a summary of the provider's qualifications and training; and (iii) a statement that the provider shall comply with the course requirements specified in this section. (2) The clerk may establish a roster of area premarital preparation course providers, including those who offer the course on a sliding fee scale or for free. (e) Certificate of completion.- (1) A premarital preparation course provider shall provide to each couple who completes the course a certificate of completion that specifies: (i) the names of the couple; (ii) the name of the provider; and (iii) the date of completion of the course. (2) To receive a discounted marriage license fee under this section, an applicant for a license shall verify completion of a premarital preparation course by filing with the clerk a valid certificate of course completion issued in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection. (f) Cost.- Any cost for a premarital preparation course shall be paid by the applicant for a marriage license. (g) Domestic violence programs.- The discount authorized by this section may not be applied to any fee used to fund domestic violence programs.

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[2001, ch. 635.]

Law Reference:
§ 2-404.1

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