We are happy to report that the 2012 Legislature passed H.B. 4605 creating an incentive for couples to complete premarital education prior to receiving a marriage license - what we have called the, "Premarital Education Act (PEA)."
One of the quickest ways to strengthen West Virginia’s economy is to strengthen West Virginia’s families – starting with their marriages.
West Virginia averages approximately 9,200 divorces annually. Each divorce costs taxpayers between $20,000 and $30,000 or, roughly, $230,000,000 annually. Statistics indicate that couples who undergo premarital education and counseling ahead of marriage can reduce the risk of divorce by 30%.
The PEA creates multiple levels of community involvement while strengthening West Virginia’s economy. Pastors, social workers, and other community leaders are encouraged to provide premarital education, thus staking an interest in the relationships within their community. If the divorce rate is reduced by just 2% annually, West Virginia’s economy stands to gain almost $5.5 million each year.