Texas Premarital Counseling Program Not A Hit With Couples

Texas offers a premarital course that waives the marriage license fee, but couples aren't taking it.

marriage certificate

In Texas, a license to wed will cost you $60, a long way since its start rate of $15.50, and its purpose isn’t to inconvenience engaged couples, but to encourage them to stay “twogether.”

“The Twogether in Texas” program is an eight-hour pre-marital course that State representive Warren Chisum coined in 2008. The $60 fee is waived for engaged couples who take the course, leaving only a local fee of $11 for them to pay. Should Blood Tests Be Required To Get Married?


You would think soon-to-be marrieds would jump at an opportunity like this, but Texas state agencies report that less than 15 percent of couples have taken the course. In fact, the government is experiencing a high increase in revenue because of couples' lack of enthusiasm to do so.

Not everyone is on board with Chisum’s program, and some have accused him of implementing a marriage tax. An increased revenue might suggest that it works that way, but Chisum has stated he's unhappy seeing "increased revenue going to different levels of government because of the higher marriage license fee."

"I would have rather have tripled the fee," he said. "I wasn't trying to make money off of it. We just hoped more people would take the course."


And that we can understand. First, eight hours is chump change when you think about the lifetime journey you’re about to embark on with your loved one. Second, the course not only waives the fee, but the waiting period, as well. And as listed on their website, Twogether Texas focuses primarily on helping couples develop communication and conflict resolution skills and other tools for a strong relationship. Heck, the royal couple is undergoing premarital counseling before their April 2011 wedding. We're having a hard time seeing the downside to this.

In fact, if you're interested in marriage education you don't have to live in Texas to get it. Our YourTango Experts work as marriage educators, and they can show you and your loved one how to build "strong marital bonds by being better listeners and keeping the lines of communication open." Couples build "the skills and attitudes necessary to sustain a healthy intimate relationship, and they learn what to expect from married life."

What do you think about pre-marital counseling, religious or otherwise?