Maryland Family Law Section 2-404.1

Article - Family Law

§ 2-404.1.

      (a)      (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)      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)      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)      (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)      (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)      Any cost for a premarital preparation course shall be paid by the applicant for a marriage license.

      (g)      The discount authorized by this section may not be applied to any fee used to fund domestic violence programs.