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Should people be required to pay a fee to get married?

Asked at The Merc, 901 Iowa St. on February 11, 2010

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Photo of Ross Duffy

“Yes, but the fee is too much now. I think I paid $2 when I got married.”

Photo of Hailey Gillespie

“No … getting married costs enough by itself.”

Photo of Toots Schultz

“No, but I think they should be required to pay a fee to get divorced, thousands of dollars. It’s too easy to get divorced nowadays.”

Photo of Gordon Myers

“It should be an affordable fee. … Research has shown that when items are ‘free,’ they are not valued nearly as much.”

Comments

BorderRuffian 4 years, 2 months ago

My guess is that Salad has never been married:

salad (Anonymous) says… "Sure, there's a clear tax benefit to being married, so why shouldn't there be a small fee."

Tax benefit? HAH!!! There is a reason they call it the marriage penalty - it costs more - a lot more - in taxes when you are married.

Been there, done that, still doing that.

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Bob Kraxner 4 years, 2 months ago

What's next a fee for breathing? For remaining alive another day? For taking up space on the planet after your 65th birthday?

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 2 months ago

Where was that nuclear pipe fitter when we had the frozen pipe thread?

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davy 4 years, 2 months ago

YES, $10,000 as a potential divorce deposit!

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

LOL @ autie

and bea, you came WITH it, girlfriend! i like, i like!

spacehog... decaff.... i'm just saying....

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ralphralph 4 years, 2 months ago

You ought to get your money back, doubled, if you stick it out and are still married after 10 years.

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autie 4 years, 2 months ago

Ok, this is starting to get a little creepy guys. But...but...spacehog, love is never having to say what the hell are you talking about?

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

My wife said if I don't quit going fishing she's gonna leave me. I sure will miss her. Ka-ching!

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

Marrying couples should be required to submit to a mental health examination. Because they MUST be crazy.

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salad 4 years, 2 months ago

Sure, there's a clear tax benefit to being married, so why shouldn't there be a small fee. Really though, we should be licensing people to have children. I just read in the KC Star about a guy in MO. who murdered his 1 yr old baby girl. Just horrific.

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couranna1 4 years, 2 months ago

no fee Will never pay a stupid fee so the state I am in will what recognize I'm married. america is idiotic

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somedude20 4 years, 2 months ago

spacehog..oh yes, I can recall your gifted voice (and fingers). For old times sake, will you sing our song from Kiss of the Spider Woman

ps. i loved the belt

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kugrad2003 4 years, 2 months ago

The $69 is justified by the state - you are paying for the time that it takes the state and its employees to process your information.

How many people do you think actually deal with the license that is issued? You'll visit the District Court Clerk twice - once to apply for the license and then again to pick it up. When the Clerk's office receives the license after the ceremony, more information has to be entered to send the record to Vital Statistics. Someone else at that office then processes the information into the permanent record.

If you want the price to go down, lobby your legislator to eliminate the 3-day waiting period that Kansas still maintains. By reducing the amount of time that the state pays its employees to handle the license, the fee could be reduced proportionately.

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beatrice 4 years, 2 months ago

For space hog: Know why divorce is so expensive?

Because it is worth it!

If I'd have killed my husband when I first thought about it, I'd be out of jail by now.

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewellery. - Rita Rudner

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BorderRuffian 4 years, 2 months ago

GmaD321 (Anonymous) says… "...and you should have to have a license (both parties) to have kids. "

Welcome to the Peoples Republic of China, GMA.

1029 (Anonymous) says… "Yes. In exchange for waiving the fee, the couple should have to sign a contract in which they agree to not have children, though."

Why not get them spayed and neutered just like we do to adopt pets?

kugrad2003 (Anonymous) says… "Every state in the union charges a fee in order for a couple to obtain marriage license."

You graduated KU in 2003 and yet you consider that a valid argument? (The same argument Larryville uses everytime it raises fees for almost anything) JUST BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE DOES IT! Scroll back up to my first comment and tell me why the $69 is justified, other than "everybody else does it." As my mother used to ask, "just because everyone else is jumping off of the cliff, does that make it right?"

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amrose42683 4 years, 2 months ago

Granted I think the fee is a bit high for what they actually NEED that money for but me and my husband didn't have a complaint about paying it. I think I saw a comment yesterday that said that people shouldn't get a fee waived when their gonna go spend $1000s on the actual wedding anyway. But to the contrary, society has been changing, and fewer and fewer are opting to have the big lavish wedding. This is probably in part due to the current economic climate, but one would hope that people are seeing marriage more for what they should rather than needing the "perfect" wedding to start it off. My husband and I were very down on our luck when we got married ... but we wanted to be married. We paid the license fee and got married in the livingroom of our house. A family friend was a retired reverend and married us for free. I made the food and our wedding cake. I think the overall cost for our wedding was about $300-$400. That includes our sterling silver rings. We've been saving little by little for more permanent rings in the future ... it just didn't matter to us at the time. Point is, if you want to be married, you should be married. I don't think $69 would really break the bank for anyone ... even if they needed to save $20/month for a bit. At the same time, if it's going to be free some then it should be free for all.

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

I wasn't a good husband . . . I don't even know what a good husband is. -Bob Dylan

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

My wife just ran off with my best friend. I sure do miss him! Bum-bada-bing!

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

somedude20, I think I remember you from Lansing. I was that wierd guy who always walked around with a garter belt over my orange jumpsuit singing showtunes. Didn't I see you at the Shenago Lounge last week? Don't worry, I'm no narc.

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9070811 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow...too easy to get divorced.

Well if an individual is stuck in a horrible marriage, I would certainly hope that be allowed to get divorced as soon as possible without having to worry more about finances.

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kugrad2003 4 years, 2 months ago

Every state in the union charges a fee in order for a couple to obtain marriage license. The prices varies from state to state, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 for a license. The fee in Kansas is $69. In the long and short of things, I don't see that it's a prohibitive fee.

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somedude20 4 years, 2 months ago

do people pay to go to jail? I did 8 years hard time with that ole ball and chain until I made a break for it. I have been on the lamb (not that type redneck) ever since and do not plan to get caught again

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1029 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes. In exchange for waiving the fee, the couple should have to sign a contract in which they agree to not have children, though. If the couple ever decides that they want to have children, they have to go back and pay the $69, as well as show proof that they can afford to have children. Too many people who can barely afford to take care of themselves are having children because they perceive getting married and reproducing as “the thing that people are supposed to do.” Almost all of society's problems are rooted in the fact that people that shouldn't be reproducing are doing just that.

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CWGOKU 4 years, 2 months ago

Toots will be Spacehog wife number 7

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

did you happen to notice that the dark haired chick featured at the beginning of this thread is named "toots"? LOL

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

It used to be Wine, Women, and Song. Now it's Beer, the Old Lady, and TV. ching-a-ching-ching!

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

me and spacehog are writing a book called:

marriage 101, LJW style

;P

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Again Mel, wonderful insight. Good to know you're speaking from experience. Sorry about the bad marriage but I'm definitely feeling ya. At least you tried it and now you know.

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

yeh, and the whole "its not you, its me" line may seem contrived but its true where i'm concerned. i DON'T want a commitment that is legally binding like that. seriously. i was married for 9 years, yeh-- he was a turd extraordinaire and i know that most guys aren't like him but i just cannot see myself EVER wanting to commit on that level again.

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Mel, you are a true gem. At least you know yourself, and that is a precious thing that a lot of people, including myself , don't have. My wife is truly one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life. I just don't think I was cut out for marriage. So, I guess time will tell.......

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

My wife's a Nun. None in the morning, none at night! badda-badda-bing!

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couranna1 4 years, 2 months ago

No if people want to get married why should they have to. They already pay taxes

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Okay, I've been single most of my life. I've had a few girlfriends. Lived with a couple of them. Got married for the first time at 39. No kids. I can't find the xact quote, but I think that idiot Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue summued it up best: "Fall in love. Move in together. Have a lot of great sex. Have kids if you want to. But Never, Ever F-ing Get Married."

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

I guess the price went up. My wife and I got married at the courthouse by Judge Malone in 2004. It was only $25.00. I think he might have given me a discount for all the times he's put me in jail. Cool guy, though.

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

spacehog, i hear ya... not about blowing up the merc w/ a half bottle of everclear but the "emotional claustrophobia"... oh, yeh, i'm right there w/ you on that. marriage is really good for some people but i ain't the marryin' kind.

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 2 months ago

no, i don't know what the money is for anyway.

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LoveThsLife 4 years, 2 months ago

69.00 does seem kind of high for a fee..I think we paid half that when we got married.

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Hey, the OTS people may have captured a phenomenal photo. Is it possible that the nuclear pipe fitter just bought a gallon of Everclear at Alvin's, to use in his diabolical scheme to blow up the Merc? Right on. Myself, I would drink half of it, then use the other half to blow up the Merc.

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GmaD321 4 years, 2 months ago

It should cost more to get married than it does to get divorced and you should have to have a license (both parties) to have kids.

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beatrice 4 years, 2 months ago

Won't they be paying for it the rest of their lives?

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Sorry about my midnight rambling. Bad case of insomnia. I tend to agree with every comment I've seen so far. Marriage has always been kind of a dilemna for me. I like loving someone but the whole "no way out" thing kind of prays on my emotional claustrophobia. I do think it's absurd when people have mega-marriages. On the other hand, I was Best Man at 2 weddings where the families must have plopped down at least 50,000 for the whole nonsense. Amazingly, both couples are still happily married for 20+ yrs. Maybe they're just afraid to get divorced because mom and dad will want their money back.

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CWGOKU 4 years, 2 months ago

BLT, mayo, lightly toasted wheat bread

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Newell_Post 4 years, 2 months ago

I can't remember who wrote this line, but it was not bad.... "The world would be a better place if it cost $100,000 to get married and $2 to get divorced." George Carlin? Johnny Carson?

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Mariposa 4 years, 2 months ago

It would appear that the best, at least the most entertaining, posts are from Spacehog. People get married or live together because they think it is a good idea and then they have children. Perhaps some of you know those who will abide by your thoughts on marriage and family. Perhaps, people out there are going to do what they want regardless of what I/you/we think about it. Total strangers, just ignoring what I think! Well! (hand on cheek.)

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toe 4 years, 2 months ago

Only a dope would ask to pay a fee.

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somedude20 4 years, 2 months ago

what is the fee if you are gay, that is right, gays are not allowed to mary. what bs (and I am not even gay)

marriage is around to make death look like a good option

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 2 months ago

It's a $75 fee to register a domestic partnership with the City of Lawrence.
I call the $69 marriage fee a predatory pricing practice, it is anti-competitive and is illegal under antitrust law. It is an attempt to monopolize.
I swear, at times, the State of Kansas can be worse than Microsoft.

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conservativepunker 4 years, 2 months ago

Ross-

That Nickel in your pocket used to be a Quarter....

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BorderRuffian 4 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps the real question we ought to be asking here is, "what are we actually paying for?"

I'm not talking about the cost of committment or the cost to cross the gates from single non-committed life to married-committed life, nor the idea of value raised in setting the bar significantly high enough that it gives couples pause to consider beforehand what they are getting into.

No, I am actually asking cost is actually incurred by the county/state by allowing a couple to get married? Is it the same thing as the "court costs" charged for some parking tickets and mail-in fines? Do we really imagine, for those fines, that the tickets are brought into a properly convened court and the prosecuter discusses the merits of the case with the judge, and the judge adjourns to consider each, then directs the court reporter to duly record the proceedings so that the clerk can make the correct entry?

No, what I want to know is, what costs does the county/state actually incur as a result of a couple getting married, that necessitate the $69?

It should be from THAT point that the argument is made for or against any particular marriage fee.

Or, and I should be ashamed of myself for even thinking this, is this simply just another attempt to find a way to gouge more money from hard-working citizens?

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missmagoo 4 years, 2 months ago

thousands of dollars to get divorced???? are you freaking kidding me?? it should be just as hard to get married as it is to get divorced!! so either make both processes a thousand bucks or make them both free!

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BABBOY 4 years, 2 months ago

1000s of dollars to get divorced? Might as well hire a hit man Toots.

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parrothead8 4 years, 2 months ago

Civil unions should be the only type of "marriage" with financial and legal implications, because marriage is just a religious construct. Government should stay out of marriage.

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Bill Lee 4 years, 2 months ago

Cutting the current fees in half would make it more affordable to those needing a financial break, but it would still generate enough revenue to cover record keeping costs and paperwork.

It is almost easier to get divorced than it is to get married. I didn't even have to attend my divorce. I just had to sign a few papers.

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zettapixel 4 years, 2 months ago

Forget paying to get married... how about people pay AND take parenting courses if they want to have kids!

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autie 4 years, 2 months ago

this is when the dowry kicks in, right?

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 2 months ago

WOW... a nuclear pipe fitter, no less

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Whoa! It's 2:40 am. Note to self: Stop Chasing the Dragon! This term is a bit more complicated than merely "smoking opium". It starts when you have your first high, the world is peaceful, everything is perfect, you're numb, but in the best way possible. But, soon, it starts wearing off. Fast. Your mind races, you're pulled out of your dream world. You crave the drug more and more, wanting to feel the same way as you did on your first high. You go to the dealer and buy the same amount you had the first time, and smoke. Still feels good, but not as good as first time. You go and buy more. Closer, but not quite there. You're stuck, you don't know what to do. You want to go back to that little dream world and stay forever, but your body is already developing a tolerance. You panic. You use all your money to buy more and more and more, but still, not the same as that first time. You realize that you have no more money, so you start selling your things, pawning whatever could get you that next bag. Still, nothing compared to what you had on that first, magical time. So, you're broke and own nothing. But you don't care, all you care about is getting back to the first high. You start stealing, doing "favors", whatever gets you the money for the attempt. Your life becomes a living hell, all in search of a repeat of the first high. That's chasing the dragon. My life story. Good night, I hope.

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spacehog 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh Christ, another question at the Merc! I give up. It depends. When I married my sister 10 years ago, they didn't charge us anything. I just had to bribe the judge a little to make it legal. It only lasted 8 months. We never did get along.

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