Arizona Covenant Marriage and the Law
Arizona allows for a covenant marriage, where a couple agrees to premarital counseling and accepts limited grounds for filing for divorce. Under Arizona Rules and Statutes 25-901-906, a couple planning to apply for an Arizona Covenant Marriage License needs to obtain a notarized statement form the clergy or counselor who provided premarital counseling.
At the Marriage License Office, the couple will need to sign a marriage license affidavit stating that they understand the nature and purpose of an Arizona covenant marriage.
Stricter Divorce Criteria
One of the main differences between a covenant marriage and a traditional marriage license is that it is more difficult to obtain a divorce with covenant marriage.
If a couple enters into a covenant marriage, then they cannot exercise a no-fault divorce option.
However, someone in a covenant marriage can still file for divorce by citing abuse, felony, adultery, abandonment, or long periods of separation as grounds for divorce.
The purpose of covenant marriage is to prevent quick marriages and divorces.
A covenant marriage is meant to be a two-tiered system to strengthen the family, as premarital education for couples tends to lower the divorce rate.
Supporters of covenant marriage believe that the counseling requirement encourages couples to recognize the commitment involved in marriage and the consequences of divorce.
Opponents of covenant marriage argue that the laws are too religious in nature.
Additionally, critics claim covenant marriages create higher fees and hardship for couples that eventually wish to divorce, without actually lowering the divorce rate.
Even if a couple changes their minds, they could still obtain a divorce in a different state that doesn’t have a covenant marriage option.
On the other hand, some critics of covenant marriage don’t believe the laws are extensive enough and have advocated for even stricter divorce laws.
Thrush Law Group treats each case with the caring, personal attention it deserves. We have handled thousands of family law cases, including Tucson divorce and custody cases.
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