Marriage License Fees To Increase For Some In West Virginia

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The cost of a marriage license for some couples in West Virginia is about to go up.

Starting June 8, couples who do not undergo four hours of premarital counseling will pay $56 – or an extra $20 – for a marriage license. The Legislature enacted the change in March.

To avoid paying the higher fee, a couple must provide a certificate showing that a class was completed.

While some advocates say the change will help reduce the divorce rate and strengthen families, others are skeptical.

West Virginia Association of Counties Executive Director Patti Hamilton says the state hasn't provided funding for new forms that must be printed and ask about pre-marriage counseling sessions.