HOUSE BILL 20
 
Unofficial Copy    2001 Regular Session
D4   1lr0327
   
(PRE-FILED)
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By: Delegates Leopold and Montague
Requested: July 24, 2000
Introduced and read first time: January 10, 2001
Assigned to: Judiciary
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Committee Report: Favorable with amendments
House action: Adopted with floor amendments
Read second time: February 7, 2001
Signed into law by Governor Glendening on May 18, 2001
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CHAPTER_______
 
   1  AN ACT concerning

   2     Family Law - Marriage License Fee - Premarital Preparation Course

   3  FOR the purpose of authorizing a county to discount a marriage license fee if the
   4   couple to be married has completed a premarital preparation course under
   5   certain circumstances; specifying the requirements for a premarital preparation
   6   course; authorizing certain providers to conduct a premarital preparation
   7   course; authorizing the clerk of the court to establish a roster of premarital
   8   preparation course providers; requiring any cost for a premarital preparation
   9   course to be paid by a certain individual; requiring a premarital preparation
  10   course provider to provide a certain certificate of completion to each couple who
  11   completes the course; requiring a premarital preparation course provider to
  12   register with the clerk by filing a certain affidavit; requiring an applicant for a
  13   license to file a certain certificate to receive a discounted marriage license fee;
  14   prohibiting the discount from being applied to any fee used to fund domestic
  15   violence programs; and generally relating to marriage license fees and
  16   premarital preparation courses.

  17  BY adding to
  18   Article - Family Law
  19   Section 2-404.1
  20   Annotated Code of Maryland
  21   (1999 Replacement Volume and 2000 Supplement)

  22   SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
  23  MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
 
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   1       Article - Family Law

   2  2-404.1.

   3   (A) (1) A COUNTY MAY DISCOUNT A MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE UNDER §
   4  2-404(A) OF THIS SUBTITLE IF THE COUPLE TO BE MARRIED HAS COMPLETED,
   5  WITHIN 1 YEAR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE APPLICATION FOR THE LICENSE, A
   6  PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE THAT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED
   7  IN THIS SECTION.

   8    (2) THE AMOUNT OF ANY DISCOUNT SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE
   9  COUNTY GOVERNING BODY.

  10   (B) A PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE SHALL:

  11    (1) INCLUDE INSTRUCTION REGARDING:

  12     (I) CONFLICT MANAGEMENT;

  13     (II) COMMUNICATION SKILLS;

  14     (III) FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES; AND

  15     (IV) CHILDREN AND PARENTING RESPONSIBILITIES; AND

  16    (2) CONSIST OF AT LEAST 4 HOURS OF INSTRUCTION.

  17   (C) A PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE MAY BE CONDUCTED BY:

  18    (1) A CLINICAL PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR OR A PROFESSIONAL
  19  COUNSELOR-MARRIAGE CLINICAL MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST LICENSED
  20  UNDER TITLE 17, SUBTITLE 3A OF THE HEALTH OCCUPATIONS ARTICLE;

  21    (2) A PSYCHOLOGIST LICENSED UNDER TITLE 18 OF THE HEALTH
  22  OCCUPATIONS ARTICLE;

  23    (3) A SOCIAL WORKER LICENSED UNDER TITLE 19 OF THE HEALTH
  24  OCCUPATIONS ARTICLE;

  25    (4) AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION IF
  26  THE REPRESENTATIVE HAS RELEVANT TRAINING; OR

  27    (5) ANY OTHER QUALIFIED PROVIDER APPROVED BY A COUNTY
  28  GOVERNING BODY.

  29   (D) (1) A PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE PROVIDER SHALL REGISTER
  30  WITH THE CLERK BY FILING A WRITTEN AFFIDAVIT CONTAINING:

  31     (I) THE PROVIDER'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER;
 
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   1     (II) A SUMMARY OF THE PROVIDER'S QUALIFICATIONS AND
   2  TRAINING; AND

   3     (III) A STATEMENT THAT THE PROVIDER SHALL COMPLY WITH THE
   4  COURSE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED IN THIS SECTION.

   5    (2) THE CLERK MAY ESTABLISH A ROSTER OF AREA PREMARITAL
   6  PREPARATION COURSE PROVIDERS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO OFFER THE COURSE ON
   7  A SLIDING FEE SCALE OR FOR FREE.

   8   (E) (1) A PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE PROVIDER SHALL PROVIDE
   9  TO EACH COUPLE WHO COMPLETES THE COURSE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
  10  THAT SPECIFIES:

  11     (I) THE NAMES OF THE COUPLE;

  12     (II) THE NAME OF THE PROVIDER; AND

  13     (III) THE DATE OF COMPLETION OF THE COURSE; AND

  14     (IV) WHETHER THE COURSE WAS CONDUCTED BY:

  15      1. PERSONAL INSTRUCTION;

  16      2. VIDEOTAPE INSTRUCTION;

  17      3. INSTRUCTION BY MEANS OF OTHER ELECTRONIC
  18  MEDIUM; OR

  19      4. A COMBINATION OF THESE METHODS.

  20    (2) TO RECEIVE A DISCOUNTED MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE UNDER THIS
  21  SECTION, AN APPLICANT FOR A LICENSE SHALL VERIFY COMPLETION OF A
  22  PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE BY FILING WITH THE CLERK A VALID
  23  CERTIFICATE OF COURSE COMPLETION ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH
  24  (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION.

  25   (F) ANY COST FOR A PREMARITAL PREPARATION COURSE SHALL BE PAID BY
  26  THE APPLICANT FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE.

  27   (G) THE DISCOUNT AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION MAY NOT BE APPLIED TO
  28  ANY FEE USED TO FUND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMS.

  29   SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect
  30  October 1, 2001.
 
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