WV Law Makers Taking A Stand On Marriage

By: Brittany Lowe Email
By: Brittany Lowe Email

Thinking about tying that knot, well start thinking about premarital classes if living in West Virginia.

The National Vital Statistics report shows West Virginia has the fifth highest divorce rate in the nation, and now starting June 8th, law makers are taking a stand.

"An additional twenty dollars that they will have to pay if they don't have a certificate showing that they completed a premarital education course," says the Executive Director of West Virginia Association for Counties, Patti Hamilton.

That means instead of 36 dollars, newlyweds will be paying 56 dollars, that's a nearly 60-percent increase.

"The statistics tell us that a family that has gone through premarital counseling last longer," explains Counselor at Counseling and Wellness Center, Harvey West.

Premarital counseling is about preparing a couple for bumps along the future road.

"They don't argue as much, I mean naturally there's always going to be arguments there's always going to be disagreements when any two people are together, but they learn better how to talk out those problems," says West.
But pre-marital counselors say couples who take the education classes and don't want to be there... are often missing out on great benefits. They say often times couples are in denial.
"They try to make it out to be better than what it really is. They think they've got the wonderful relation because they're still in stage one, then like I said that wears off after about six months to two years," continues West."

And if the extra twenty dollars doesn't convince a couple to participate in counseling, the money goes to different state fundings.
"Ten dollars to the credit of the marriage education and five dollars Family Shelter Support Act and five dollars to fund for legal services for low income persons," says Hamilton.

A free seminar will be held by Harvey West Saturday, May 5 at the 36th Street Church of Christ. The event is open to the public from 9 am to 3 pm.
You can register by calling 1-800-841-7876 or 304-422-7300.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by John Location: Mineral Wells on May 4, 2012 at 08:38 PM
    I wonder when the government is going to enforce their Primanoche rights on the new wives. (Just watching Brave Heart and thought the comment was appropriate).
  • by Philip Location: Parkersburg on May 4, 2012 at 08:18 AM
    We completed the free premarital counseling program through our church but obviously there are no guarantees and it did not prevent the unfaithfullness of two wives. The $20 is nothing compared to the cost of the divorces due to the spouses infidelity and the biased judges and court system in WV.
  • by Jennifer Location: Parkersburg on May 4, 2012 at 08:07 AM
    Interesting. Isn't this what they require in China? Very interesting that the government is requiring couples to attend counseling prior to marrying. This is an invasion of your rights. Get the government out of our houses!
  • by If...... on May 4, 2012 at 07:18 AM
    We have to take a couse on marriage or pay extra......if the marriage doesn't last, will we have to take a single-living class before the divorce is finalized, or pay an extra $20 to make that happen??
  • by shay on May 4, 2012 at 06:29 AM
    Maybe instead of worrying about peoples' marriages and divorces they should worry about bringing more jobs in and better healthcare. I rather have my family tell me how to run my relationship then a stupid class.
  • by jim Location: williamstown on May 3, 2012 at 07:25 PM
    testing, testing... I commented on here yesterday and it's not here. Apparently WTAP is posting only what they want you to see
  • by Sandy Location: Parkersburg on May 3, 2012 at 05:00 PM
    Why couldn't lawmakers have worked on passing a useful law, like voter ID? I want my money back!
  • by anon on May 3, 2012 at 02:17 PM
    way to go WV for getting more money out of us!!! Good thing we cant just go across the river and get married there huh???? So smart!
  • by REALLY on May 3, 2012 at 02:09 PM
    JUST ANOTHER MONEY MAKER FOR WV
  • by DizzyLizzy on May 3, 2012 at 02:04 PM
    Now your talking.. I say it IS time to start regulating peeple in some way before they can have children.. the problem of dead beat addicted parents is an epidemic in our area. The children have no choice who their ma and pa is.. stop the child abuse before it happens.
    • reply
      by momma on May 3, 2012 at 05:24 PM in reply to DizzyLizzy
      Really?What does this have to do with having kids...HELLO you dont have to be married to get pregnant!People on here say the dumbest things!
    • reply
      by Your name on May 3, 2012 at 06:19 PM in reply to DizzyLizzy
      says it all! Adding an extra 20 bucks is really going to stop ppl from popping out babies... got cha
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 4, 2012 at 07:31 AM in reply to DizzyLizzy
      ...before they can have children? Did you read the article? It's about raising the fee to get married in lieu of taking classes.
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