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Twogether Press Release

State of Texas



Date: Aug. 6, 2008
Contact: Stephanie Goodman (512) 424-6951

New Law Promotes Free Marriage Education Classes

Couples Who Complete Courses Can Waive Marriage License Fee, Waiting Period

AUSTIN - The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is spreading the word about a new state law, which takes effect Sept. 1, that encourages couples to attend free marriage education classes before taking the plunge. Couples who complete the skills-based course will pay less for their marriage license.

House Bill 2685 increases the marriage license fee to $60. However, the fee will be waived for couples who complete an eight-hour premarital class, and those couples can forgo the 72-hour waiting period to get married. Counties may continue to charge up to $12 in local fees for a marriage license.

HHSC is running a billboard campaign throughout August to raise awareness of the new law and the marriage education classes. The agency also has contracts with community-based organizations that are working to build a network of classes across the state that meet the requirements for the marriage license discount.

The state’s initiative, called “Twogether in Texas,” promotes free marriage education classes that provide eight hours of training on communication skills, conflict resolution and other elements of a healthy marriage. Couples can find classes in their area by calling 2-1-1.

Starting Sept. 1, couple who complete a class will receive a certificate that they can take to their county clerk when they apply for their marriage license. The certificate is good for one year and serves as proof that the couple is eligible for the discounted marriage license fee.

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