What is a convenant marriage

What is a covenant marriage?

In some states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona, covenant marriage is practiced, and most people know about it. However, people who belong to other states are generally unaware of it. 

If you are relocating to these states, you must find this term new. The marriage covenant is also mentioned in the Bible to describe a marriage. 

So let’s discuss what a covenant marriage is, how a covenant marriage differs from traditional marriage and many more. 

What is a covenant marriage?

A covenant marriage is like a traditional marriage but has many additional legal steps. When it comes to divorce, it has complex and intricate requirements to end a marriage and put you in a strict system of divorce laws. 

The Louisiana legislature develops covenant marriages to encourage couples to seek professional and religious counseling before divorce. In short, it helps couples to show their intent to enter the marriage bond as a lifelong commitment. 

Requirements to enter a covenant marriage

Here are some requirements you need to meet before entering a covenant marriage. The requirement can differ from state to state. These requirements are also known as the marriage covenant vow. The covenant marriage laws include:

Requirements to enter a covenant marriage

1. Declaration of intent

While going for the covenant marriage, the couples must submit their declaration of intent—deceleration of intent talks about why they are going for the covenant marriage in the first place. 

The declaration of intent provides:

  • Parties have received premarital counseling.
  • Marriage agreement to live as a husband and wife forever.
  • Both partners must have received premarital counseling.
  • Both parties carefully decided and disclosed everything that could later affect their marriage. 
  • The couples must go through premarital counseling from a professional marriage counselor, priest, rabbi, minister, or similar personalities from the religious sect. 

2. Seek marriage counseling

The couple must attend pre-marriage counseling to know what they are getting into.

3. Attestation affidavit

The marriage license should be supplemented by sworn and attested by a notary. It means the attestation from a licensed marriage counselor or a clergy attestation. 

4. Apply for a marriage license.

The covenant marriage vital document is an application for a marriage license. The couples have to apply for a marriage license as a prerequisite. 

Legal separation in a covenant marriage

A spouse must obtain counseling and then get a legal separation different from a divorce and doesn’t end the marriage.

  1. When one spouse abandons the other partner for one year
  2. The spouse has lived separately for two years.
  3. The other spouse was involved in the adultery.
  4. Sexual or physical abuse of the child of any spouse.
  5. The accusation of a felony by the other spouse or a sentence of imprisonment for hard labor or death. 
  6. Habitual intemperance, for example, drug or alcohol abuse, abusive behavior, or ill-treatment by the other person. 

Divorce in a covenant marriage

A covenant marriage makes divorce complicated. In a marriage that is not a covenant marriage, a person can petition for divorce based on the proof that they have been living separately for six months, the spouse is involved in adultery, or imprisonment at hard labor and death. 

But in a covenant marriage, a person can get a divorce after counseling if one of the following reasons is involved. 

  • Abandonment by the spouse for more than a year.
  • Sexual or physical abuse of the spouse or the child of the spouse. 
  • Commission of a felony by the spouse and sentence of imprisonment at hard labor and death. 
  • The spouse has lived separately and apart for two years. They are legally separated and apart because of the legal separation:
  1. One year if the separation was granted due to the abuse on the child of either spouse.
  2. One year and six months if there is a child of the marriage.
  3. One year in all other cases.

Why do people choose a covenant marriage?

When asked if you want to sign up for the regular or the covenant marriage, you might need clarification on the differences. At this point, the first question that comes to our mind is the benefits of the covenant marriage. 

Is your marriage a covenant marriage? Here are a few common reasons people choose covenant marriage over traditional ones. 

1. People try harder to make it work.

When couples have to face continuous trials and legal procedures, they try to opt for divorce. Though marriage is about trying your best for your partner, people are more likely to be serious about it in covenant marriage. 

In short, in the journey of covenant marriage, you are given a chance to grow better with your partner. 

2. It discourages divorces

The Covenant marriages are nontraditional marriages that discourage divorces. Divorce is considered a disrespect to the covenant marriage. Couples need to understand that it’s not for fun when they tie the knot and that you can separate your ways when they get bored. 

Marriage is a serious matter, and covenant marriages help them to know what they are going for. 

3. It makes family bonds stronger.

Covenant marriages’ purpose is to strengthen families. Its purpose is to teach our young generation that it is a sacred union of two souls and that you should support each other no matter how harsh the circumstances are. 

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract.

4. You can get a second chance.

In covenant marriages, you will get a second chance to work better on things as you go through premarital counseling before getting into covenant marriage. Hence, you know what you can expect from the marriage. 

The most exciting thing that attracts couples to the covenant marriage is that they are building a solid foundation for their wedding. 

According to the Bible, what makes a marriage covenant?

Marriage is one of the most crucial parts of a person’s life. It is a covenant between the two people. A covenant is a promise made in the presence of God. It’s a permanent bond you promise to be faithful to forever. 

According to the Bible, marriage is God’s order from the beginning. It was always acceptable for the man and woman to live together, be faithful, and have their family. 

God created Adam and Eve when he created the generation. He gave them domination over the earth and everything around the world. 

In Genesis 2:18, we read that:

“The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

It is not shameful for Eve and Adam to be married and live together. It means it was God’s plan for humankind from the beginning. 

Converting a traditional marriage into a covenant marriage

In Arizona, covenant marriages became lawful on the 21st of August 1998. If you are married before the date, your wedding is non-covenant. Married couples are allowed to convert their traditional marriages into covenant marriages. However, teams with covenant marriages cannot transform it into a non-covenant one. 

To convert the traditional marriage into a covenant, one couple will have to pay the fee to the court and submit the following:

  • A declaration of intent, as mentioned above, for unmarried people. It must be present on the marriage license application. 
  • The location and date of the couple’s wedding. 

If you are willing to convert your traditional marriage into a covenant marriage, consult with the jurisdiction’s superior court. Some courts have application forms that will make the procedure easier.

To get more related information, contact the superior court in your country.


What is a covenant marriage?

A covenant marriage is between two people willing to spend their whole life together. They understand the responsibilities of their marriage. In case of marital problems, they will try to make their relationship work. 

How do I know if I am in a covenant marriage?

To be in a covenant marriage, you must go through premarital counseling to understand your options. Then, you will have to apply for a covenant marriage license. It’s possible to distinguish a covenant marriage from a traditional wedding. 

What’s the difference between covenant marriage and traditional marriage?

There are two main differences between a marriage and a covenant marriage:

  1. In covenant marriages, you must attend premarital counseling before marriage and counseling before filing for a divorce. 
  2. The covenant marriage couple can seek divorce only for limited reasons. 

What are the advantages of covenant marriages?

The main benefit of the covenant marriage is that it promotes security. In covenant marriage, premarital counseling lets you know you are going into it for the long haul. When couples know this, they support each other through highs and lows. Such things make marriages work and reduce the divorce ratio. 

What are the disadvantages of covenant marriage?


When couples get bored of their relationships or want to be no longer married, they can not file for a no-fault divorce. There is a contract that couples sign before getting married that limits their grounds for divorce. 


Covenant marriage is the union of two people that is legally different from traditional or non-covenant marriages. Covenant marriages became legal in Arizona on August 21, 1998. 

To enter a covenant marriage, you must fulfill more requirements than a simple marriage. Later, if a couple wants to divorce, there will be more restrictions, and they can not file for a no-fault divorce. 

Currently, you can only obtain a covenant marriage from Louisiana, Arizona, and Arkansas, the three states of the United States. To enter a covenant marriage, both parties undergo counseling sessions to understand the depth and meaning. 

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