What Makes Arizona Covenant Marriage Different?
In Arizona, couples who are getting married have the option to enter into what’s called a “covenant marriage.” Entering into a covenant marriage means that you will be unable to pursue a divorce or legal separation at a later date except in very specific and limited circumstances. In addition to meeting those requirements, a covenant marriage also means that the other spouse must agree to the divorce or separation.
How Do I Enter a Covenant Marriage?
The covenant marriage process is the same as for any other Arizona marriage, but it comes with a few extra steps. Couples who want to enter a covenant marriage in Arizona must attend premarital counseling and also sign an additional declaration of intent when applying for the marriage license.
For couples who are already married, it is possible to convert the existing marriage to a covenant marriage. You can simply sign a similar declaration, provide information about your marriage ceremony, and pay a small fee.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in a Covenant Marriage?
Outside of both spouses agreeing to the divorce, there are only very limited reasons that a divorce or legal separation can be granted in an Arizona covenant marriage, including:
- Abandonment, usually requiring an absence of 1 year or more
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse/Domestic violence
- Substance abuse that takes place on a regular basis
- Living apart for at least a 2-year period
- Felony death sentence or life imprisonment of a spouse
If you have questions about covenant marriage or divorce in Scottsdale, contact a friendly and skilled Scottsdale divorce lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. You may also want to request a copy of our helpful, FREE book for families, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.