Cumberland Times-News

April 4, 2013

West Virginia House committee giggles through marriage talk

David Gutman
Associated Press

— CHARLESTON — In West Virginia you can void a marriage if at the time of the wedding one party was insane, an imbecile, an idiot, impotent or had a venereal disease, among other reasons.

The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee spent much of its meeting Thursday trying to sort out state laws on voided marriages, laws that lawmakers of both parties said were antiquated and in need of change.

A voided marriage is different from a divorce in that a voided marriage never legally existed.

A voided marriage was invalid from the beginning. The difference affects how property is divided and how support payments are imposed.

Amid giggles, the committee adopted an amendment changing the language that voids marriage for insanity and imbecility to language that refers to those people as “legally incompetent.”