Marriage License fees could double - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

05.16.07

Marriage License fees could double

"I mean there's a lot you have to pay for but in the realm of things the marriage license is probably the least expensive" says Annie Vance "I mean there's a lot you have to pay for but in the realm of things the marriage license is probably the least expensive" says Annie Vance

Brides and grooms in Texas may soon have to spend even more money on their nuptuals, but can avoid that extra fee if they enroll in state provided counseling.

Newschannel10's Tina Berasley tells us about the incentive that one bride says would be a bonus. Meet Annie Vance, a bride-to-be. "I mean there's a lot you have to pay for but in the realm of things the marriage license is probably the least expensive".

She plans to tie the knot next month and wouldn't mind taking the required class if it would save her some cash. "I think that would be a good idea, I mean marriage is hard enough, so if you learned how to communicate early you maybe won't have as many problems" And a new bill proposes just that.

If passed, couples would have to either take an 8 hour class on communication and conflict management, or pay double the fee for their marriage license, which averages about 30 dollars in Texas.

Pre-marital counselor Mark Britain agrees the motive is genuine, but says legislating therapy is just plain wrong."I think anytime anyone is coerced be it subtle or be it overtly coerced it stands a chance of losing it's power and its impact...I'm concerned about the subtle coercion when goverment gets involved in inter-personal relationships."

Governor Perry could sign the bill at any time. A lobbyist in support of the measure says the classes and also the couple's license would be free.

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