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Understanding Covenant Marriage in Arizona

By Zachary Mushkatel on

Scottsdale family law attorneys discuss Arizona covenant marriage

In 1998, Arizona’s legislature passed a law to create the option of a “covenant marriage” This option does not affect the standard laws for Arizona marriages, but it creates a separate option for couples who wish to choose it.  Some of the basics of covenant marriage are discussed below. You may also want to speak to an experienced Glendale family law lawyer to learn more about marriage options and how they may apply to your particular situation.

Before entering a covenant marriage, a couple must receive pre-marital counseling from a clergy member or a marriage counselor. In addition to the standard marriage license, the couple must also sign a declaration expressing their intent to enter a covenant marriage in Arizona, which must contain specific language required by law. The couple must also complete a signed and sworn statement that they attended the required counseling.

Already-married couples in Arizona also have the option to convert their marriage to a covenant marriage. Conversion requires the couple to meet the additional requirements for covenant marriage. Consulting a family law attorney in Arizona can help a couple ensure they complete the conversion successfully.

Covenant marriages may be dissolved by divorce only for specific reasons in Arizona.  Some reasons include adultery committed by one of the spouses, a felony committed by one of the spouses, abuse or domestic violence committed by one of the spouses, drug abuse committed by one of the spouses, separation of the spouses for at least two years or abandonment of the marital home by one of the spouses for at least one year, or an agreement between both spouses to file for divorce.