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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Covenant Marriage


Term Definition Covenant Marriage - a reaction to high divorce rates.
Application in Divorce Covenant marriage is an attempt to make divorce more difficult by "tapping into a couple’s commitment level as they first approach the altar." First available in Louisiana in 1997, Covenant Marriage is also available in Arizona and Arkansas.

A couple who voluntarily agree to a covenant marriage also commit to three primary practices that include 1) mandatory pre-martial counseling; 2) "a legally binding agreement that they will privilege preservation of the marriage" and 3) "return to fault-based divorce provisions" or an extended period of separation in the event of divorce.

The intent of covenant marriage is to make it harder for a couple to divorce by making certain they have a commitment to marriage.

Covenant marriage, which has been endorsed by political conservatives and religious groups, has been introduced in several additional state legislatures. It has failed to attract a substantial following, and it has been chosen by relatively few marrying couples.

Covenant marriage is part of what has been called the Marriage Movement, which includes efforts at reducing the number of divorces by strengthening marriage.

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