Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Covenant Marriage and How Does it Affect Divorce?

A covenant marriage is a marriage in which the parties agree, prior to marriage, that the marriage is for life, by making a written statement to this effect. Pre-marriage counseling is required for a covenant marriage, including information on the effect of covenant marriage and receipt of a brochure from the Arizona Supreme Court. An affidavit must be filed with the marriage license that the parties have received pre-marriage counseling, along with the signed statement of the parties to the marriage declaring the marriage to be a covenant marriage. A regular marriage can be converted into a covenant marriage by filing a declaration and a copy of their marriage certificate.

A covenant marriage requires grounds to be met before the dissolution of the marriage (or legal separation) may be granted. The grounds include: adultery; commission of a felony with a sentence of imprisonment or death; abandonment for at least one year with a refusal to return; physical or sexual abuse of the spouse, a child or relative living in the marital residence; domestic violence; emotional abuse; living separate and apart for 2 years before filing; living separate and apart for one year after a decree of legal separation has been entered; or abuse of alcohol or drugs. A dissolution of a covenant marriage may also be granted if both parties agree to a dissolution of the marriage.

After a petition for legal separation or dissolution of marriage of a covenant marriage has been filed, the judge may enter temporary orders for the support of the parties, the children, and relating to property, as it could in any dissolution of marriage or legal separation case.

by: Sandra Tedlock

For more information or to make an initial appointment, call our office: (520) 885-9301.