What Is A Covenant Marriage?

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what is a covenant marriage
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Covenant marriage is a partnership between couples that differs from a traditional or non-covenant marriage.

In the state of Arizona, there are only two forms of marriage: covenant and non-covenant. However, covenant marriages were not lawful in the state until August 21, 1998, when they were codified by laws and made a law.

Before engaging in a covenant marriage, there are additional prerequisites. Later, if the couple wishes to split, there are limits, but a couple that joins a marriage without a prenuptial agreement can divorce or separate without reason.

Only in Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana is it possible to acquire a covenant marriage in the United States.

Most of those who form a covenant wedding do so for religious reasons. However, before a covenant wedding, both parties must comprehend their commitment in its entirety.

Why Do People Choose Covenant Marriage?

People get into covenant marriages for a variety of reasons. Numerous churches recognize a single church wedding. Divorce is contrary to church theology; thus, choosing a covenant marriage is consistent with these beliefs.

Couples who wish to document the depth of their commitment to one another and their marriage may opt for a covenant marriage, which needs specified justifications, counseling, and waiting periods before a court will issue a divorce.

Some feel that covenant marriages are the solution to the growing divorce rate. If a couple must at least attempt to work through difficult circumstances, they may remain together.

Often, unpleasant periods pass, so it is not a bad idea to give things time to calm down. However, choosing a covenant marriage is not a decision to be made lightly. Your divorce will be drawn out if things do not go as planned.

It is not something any bride or groom-to-be wants to consider, but there are a few things you need to know about the covenant wedding divorce rules beforehand.

what is a covenant marriage

What Are The Key Components Of A Covenant Marriage?

The Arizona legislation on covenant marriage stipulates that conditions must be met before marriage.

The criteria are in place to avoid divorces and emphasize the significance of covenant marriage. Before getting into a marriage, the pair must satisfy all conditions.

Attend Marriage Counseling

Before joining a covenant marriage, Arizona couples must attend premarital therapy from a marriage counselor or church.

During the counseling sessions, the expert provides both individuals with information on the sincerity of a covenant marriage, interaction of the fact that a covenant wedding is for life, a conversation about the need for marital counseling during tough moments, and the limited grounds for leaving a covenant wedding.

Enroll For A Marriage License

To enter a covenant marriage, you must apply for a marriage license after undergoing premarital counseling.

However, filing for a covenant marriage license differs from applying for a standard or non-covenant marriage license.

Your registration for a covenant marriage certificate must contain a declaration of purpose and an affidavit from your professional marital counselor attesting to your intentions.

You may obtain information on how to apply for a covenant marriage certificate by contacting the county’s superior court.

Declare Intentions

The couple must indicate on the marriage license that they desire to join a covenant marriage. A detailed declaration known as a Declaration of Intention must be included on the license.

This assertion effectively states:

  1. Each party consents to form a covenant marriage.
  2. They decide that a covenant marriage is between two individuals who desire to spend the rest of their lives together. They recognize the duties of marriage and will make reasonable attempts to resolve marital issues.
  3. Affidavit of Affirmation
  4. The application for a marriage license must also contain the sworn and notarized affidavit of the minister or professional marriage counselor.

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Covenant marriage VS Traditional marriage

Basis Of DiffCovenant marriageTraditional marriage
DefinitionA covenant marriage is comparable to a “normal” marriage, but additional legal formalities are required. The covenant marriage stipulates more stringent divorce standards and subjects you to stricter divorce rules.Marriage is conducted in accordance with the historical conventions of a certain community, typically with the primary aim of starting a family.
RequirementUnder Louisiana law, a covenant marriage is one in which a man and a woman vow to remain married for the rest of their lives.A traditional or “contract” marriage requires simply the acquisition of a marriage license, the presence of two witnesses, and the performance of the ceremony by a state-licensed agent.
DivorceTaking divorce is not easy.No-fault divorce rules make it extremely simple to get a divorce.
CountriesCovenant marriage is legal in the U.S.Anywhere in the world

Converting A Traditional Marriage To A Covenant Marriage

Arizona legalized covenant marriages on August 21, 1998. If you were married in Arizona before August 21, 1998, your union is not a covenant union.

Married couples can change their non-covenant wedding to a covenant marriage. Partners in a covenant marriage cannot convert their union into a non-covenant marriage.

To convert a marriage to a covenant wedding, the couple must submit the following documents to the proper court:

  • Applicants for a marriage license must submit a Declaration of Intent, similar to the one required of unmarried persons.
  • The couple’s wedding place and date.
  • If you want to change your marriage to a covenant marriage, you need to contact the superior court in your area. Some courts use pre-printed paperwork to facilitate the procedure.
  • You can obtain further information by contacting the superior court in your county.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Covenant Marriage?

Pros

  • Requires prenuptial counseling, which helps help couples prevent potential relationship problems.
  • Strengthens the ties between all family members
  • Accepting marital preservation measures in the face of difficulty can strengthen a marriage.

Cons

  • Typically, divorce is harder to get.
  • Some believe that these relationships are “too religious.”
  • Each spouse may face financial difficulties due to the difficulty of divorce.

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what is a covenant marriage

Divorce In A Covenant Marriage

Additionally, a Covenant Marriage makes divorce more difficult. One may file for divorce only after having received counseling and on the grounds of adultery by the other partner, the conviction of a crime by the other spouse and his imprisonment at forced work or death, or proof that the spouses have lived separately and apart for six months before filing for divorce.

Similar to the requirements for legal separation, one or more of the following should be met:

  • Infidelity of the other spouse
  • committing a crime and receiving a sentence of imprisonment with hard labor or execution for the other spouse
  • One year of abandonment by the other partner
  • Physical or sexual abuse of the partner or a child of either partner is prohibited.
  • The spouses have lived distinct and apart because of two years, or they are judicially or lawfully separated. They have lived detached and apart since legal separation for one year and six months if there are dependent children are getting married.

FAQs-

Can A Covenant Marriage Be Broken?

Covenant marriages are more difficult to break, although it is not impossible to do so. There are various grounds for dissolving a covenant marriage. The court will grant the divorce if both parties consent to it.

What States Have Covenant Marriage?

Covenant marriage is legal in three U.S. states (Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana).

What Is A Non-Covenant Marriage?

If you were married in Arizona before August 21, 1998, your union is not a covenant union. Married couples can change their non-covenant marriage to a covenant wedding. Partners in a covenant marriage cannot convert their union into a non-covenant marriage.

What Is The Penalty For Breaking A Covenant?

The penalties of a breach of the covenant might include having to dismantle any completed construction and restore the property or land to its original state. There might also be a damage award to pay in any future legal action. Getting professional legal counsel is crucial if involved in a potential covenant violation.

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