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Texas Offering Cash Incentive For Pre-Marriage Counseling

Texas lawmakers can't stop couples from walking down the aisle, but they can make it more expensive to be named husband and wife. There's a high divorce rate in Texas and lawmakers think that number will go down if couples undergo pre-marriage counseling. A new federally funded program called Twogether in Texas is based on the hope that couples would rather sit through counseling sessions than pay extra for their marriage licenses.

Beginning this month, licenses that used to cost $41 will now cost $71. If couples participate in the Twogether in Texas program and take an approved eight-hour class, the state charges only $11 for the license. Do you think paying $60 less is worth eight hours of free counseling?


bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I got married in Georgia and our county has the same kind of incentive. Our marriage license would have been $51 if we hadn't gotten counseling but since we did it was only $16. We had to go through the counseling anyway because my pastor won't perform a wedding if he doesn't do pre marital counseling. It was very good for us. The subjects were pretty basic and we weren't the type of couple with huge issues anyway but I can see how just stopping to ask yourself what's expected of you in a relationship BEFORE you get married is beneficial. It really helps to make sure you are both on the same page, and if you are it gives you an even more certaiin feeling that marriage is defintitely what you want to do.
jrosenberg02 jrosenberg02 9 years
I make $60 an no. This wouldn't be worth it in a monetary trade-off sense. However, I think pre-marital counseling is so important. We're doing it with our rabbi before our wedding for sure, but not because a government program is trying to get us into it!
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
My church has everyone that is married by one of the pastors do a pre-marital program in order to be married by them - so as long as that counted I would be just fine with that.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 9 years
So in my mind this is kind of equivalent to you getting a discount on your insurance for taking a defensive driving course. I like that they're not requiring it, but making it an attractive option. And if you don't have an extra $30 to shell out for a marriage license, maybe you should reconsider the timing of your marriage and focus on being financially stable first... As a married person, I can't stress how important and valuable I think this is. I wish my husband & I had done it. Everybody who I know that has done it has had great things to say. It's not so much about starting problems as it is figuring out how to cope with your differences without hating each other, and learning how you can fight but still love each other.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
Actually, they've been doing this already, but before, you only saved something like $30-35. I live in Texas and I got married here just a few months ago. Maybe they felt that not enough people were taking advantage of that offer (my husband and I didn't.)
whatwouldruthdo whatwouldruthdo 9 years
Sounds like a good idea. I don't know that I'd be in favor of forcing people to go to premarital counseling, but this is a great way to approach it.
thelorax thelorax 9 years
Pre-marriage counseling, religious or otherwise, is SUCH an important step. This will bring up questions that you never even thought of, and guide discussion to reveal things about each other that you probably wouldn't hear up front. My husband & I attended 6 weeks of counseling through our church prior to getting married and it was very helpful. It's too easy to get caught up in the feeling of being in love, and the whirlwind excitement of planning a wedding - you can't forget to get to know the person you're planning to share your life with.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
I think every couple should go to counseling before getting married, even if the relationship doesn't have any problems--I mean, if counseling creates problems, then you probably shouldn't get married. Since this is optional, I have no problem with giving a reduced rate for a marriage certificate as long as the free counseling isn't given by a church or a religious counselor. Unless the couple wants I guess I don't have a problem as long as there is an option for non-religious counseling, because it looks like there are churches on the approved list of providers.
chocolatine chocolatine 9 years
I wish the government stayed out of people's love lives.
cmd0610 cmd0610 9 years
Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We're getting married in TX next April- this is so stupid! Like I need to add another cost to my wedding :(. Stupid jerks! No way I'm going to counseling- honestly I feel like that's gonna create problems where there aren't problems . . . ahhhhhhhh I'm really mad about this! PS I have no issues with counseling if it's needed but preemptively . . . no way.
aistea311 aistea311 9 years
They should try the higher priced licenses in Hollywood.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
wow - i guess they really are trying to do what they can to make sure that people are ready and committed to getting married. it's funny - my fiance is from texas originally and he's divorced - so that's kind of similar right ? we're not getting married there so i'm not worried about the higher cost - and if you think about it - i guess that paying a bit more to get married just shows your committment
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