What is a Covenant Marriage?
A Covenant Marriage is a special type of marriage only available in Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Covenant marriages comprise only a small percentage of total marriages in all three states. It is most commonly utilized by couples that participate in a religious community. The couple must complete marriage counseling classes and sign a declaration on their marriage license application. A couple in a covenant marriage can only legally separate or divorce under certain circumstances.
What are the steps to Covenant Marriage?
Do Less Covenant Marriages end in Divorce?
The divorce rate for those in covenant marriages is less than half of those in traditional marriages. Those in covenant marriages also report higher levels of satisfaction in their marriages, but most of these effects are seen in the husbands.
How can I get a legal separation if I am in a Covenant Marriage?
You can only legally separate in a covenant marriage in certain situations. One or both spouses being unfaithful is grounds for legal separation. A spouse can be granted a legal separation if the other spouse commits a crime and ends up in jail or prison. A legal separation can be granted if one spouse abandons the home for one year or more- the filing spouse can file for separation before, but the separation won’t be granted until the year requirement is met. Legal separation will be granted if a spouse commits any domestic abuse- physical, sexual, etc. A separation can be granted if the couple has already been living separately for 2 years without any reconciliation periods. Lastly, a drinking or drug problem is grounds for legal separation.
How can I get a divorce if I am in a Covenant Marriage?
The grounds for divorce in a covenant marriage are nearly identical to those for legal separation. Additionally, a divorce can be granted for a covenant marriage if the couple has been legally separated for one year. A covenant marriage can also end in divorce if both spouses agree to the divorce.