H. B. 2322
(By Delegate J. Miller)
[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §48-5B-1, §48-5B-2, §48-5B-3, §48-5B-4, §48-5B-5, §48-5B-6 and §48-5B-7, all relating to creating and issuing certificates recognizing the termination of marriage.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §48-5B-1, §48-5B-2, §48-5B-3, §48-5B-4, §48-5B-5, §48-5B-6 and §48-5B-7, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5B. CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE TERMINATION.
The purpose of this article is to create a document proving the termination of a marriage licensed in this state.
§48-5B-2. Issuance of certificate.
The clerk of the county commission shall issue a certificate of marriage termination within thirty days upon receiving an application meeting the requirements set forth in this article. The clerk shall only grant a certificate of marriage termination for marriage terminated by divorce, annulment or death of a spouse.
§48-5B-3. Availability of certificate.
(a) The clerk of the county commission for each county in the state shall make available, and record on file if approved, an application for a certificate recognizing the termination of a marriage that was licensed by the clerk.
(b) Any person may apply for a certificate of marriage termination to the clerk of the county commission where the license was granted. The clerk may not deny any application meeting the requirements of this article.
(c) Upon submission of a complete application, the clerk shall issue a certificate to any resident of the United States: Provided, That any application by a resident of another state, and any information required as part of a complete application, shall be notarized by a notary of the public in the state of the applicant’s residence.
§48-5B-4. Contents of application.
(a) All applications for a certificate of marriage termination must include the full names of both female and male parties, their social security account numbers, dates of birth, places of birth and residence addresses. The applicant’s signature shall be a testament that all information is accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge.
(b) Except for the full names of both parties, the unavailability of information required under subsection (a) for any reason does not invalidate the application. Also, the applicant’s signature shall be a testament that the applicant made a good faith effort to obtain the information.
(c) Each application shall specify the nature of the marriage termination and also include the following information:
(1) An application by divorce shall include a certified copy of the final order of divorce;
(2) An application by annulment shall include a certified copy of the final annulment order; and
(3) An application by death of spouse shall include a certified copy of the spouses death certificate.
(d) Nothing in this article prevents both parties on a marriage license from submitting a single application.
§48-5B-5. Validity of certificate; use of certificate; fee.
(a) A certificate of marriage termination shall serve as an official document issued by the state and does not expire.
(b) If the clerk where the certificate is filed subsequently determines the certificate to be inaccurate or obtained by fraud, the clerk shall revoke the certificate and file a copy of the revocation with the certificate.
(c) A certificate of marriage termination may not be substituted for a final order of divorce, final annulment order or death certificate where such document is specifically required in this code. Any subdivision or agency of this state may promulgate rules allowing the acceptance of the certificate for official purposes.
(d) The clerk may charge an application fee up to, but not exceeding, the fee for issuing a marriage license.
§48-5B-6. Fraudulent obtainment; use.
Any person who fraudulently obtains or uses a certificate of marriage termination may be held criminally or civilly liable, or both, under the laws of this state.
§48-5B-7. Severability provision.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and to that end the provisions of this article are severable.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow for creation and issuance of a certificate of marriage termination.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.