A covenant marriage is where the couple agree that their marriage is a lifelong commitment and they thereby willingly enter pre-marital counseling and agree to limit the grounds for divorce. Divorce in covenant marriages can only be obtained when there has been a complete and total breach of the marriage agreement, such as when one of the spouses engages in adultery or commits a felony. A covenant marriage, therefore, cannot be terminated simply on the basis of “irreconcilable differences.”
Covenant marriages are only recognized in four states — Louisiana , Arizona, Kansas and Arkansas. Moreover, in Arizona, couples in regular marriage can covert their marriage to a covenant marriage by signing and filing the following statement:
We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities ofmarriage. We understand that a covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do declare that our marriage will be bound by Arizona law on covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.