Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 49: Summary of West Virginia Laws

Author's Note:

I seriously feel like I missed something with West Virginia, but I did give it's criminal laws a through go-over. Inchoate laws appear to be pretty specific to each kind of charge, as does repeat escalation, and neither are attached to bigamy.

It still feels weird, having only one reference here...

- Jason


Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 49: Summary of West Virginia Laws


West Virginia has no adultery or fornication laws.


West Virginia has simple bigamy, liable only to the marryer (West Virginia State Legislature, 2011a). Bigamy is a felony, punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment (West Virginia State Legislature, 2011a). Repeat escalation and inchoate laws appear to not apply to bigamy.

Round-Up of Laws:

With the absence of adultery and fornication, unmarried and dyadic non-monogamists have no criminal liability. Because West Virginia has only simple bigamy, with no escalation and inchoate applicability, even non-dyadic non-monogamists have minimal liability, only applicable if there is an actual bigamous marriage.

Non-Monogamous Strategies:

Due to the lightness of West Virginia’s laws, the only thing that non-monogamists can do to decrease the already minimal liability is to not have a bigamous marriage.


West Virginia State Legislature. (2012a). Bigamy - Penalty. (West Virginia Code 61-8-1). Charleston, WV: West Virginia State Legislature.

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