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A different kind of Louisiana marriage and divorce

More than 20 years ago, Louisiana became the first state in the nation to allow its citizens to enter into a covenant marriage. While only a small percentage of people decide on a covenant marriage, it is regardless a fully legitimate and legal form of marriage here, as well as in Arkansas and Arizona.

There are different rules and standards to enter into a covenant marriage and also different rules and standards for divorce in these arrangements. Let’s take a quick look first at the rules and standards agreed to before a covenant marriage.

Before entering a covenant marriage, a man and woman must attend premarital counseling and they must sign a statement that their marriage is for life. They must also make a commitment that if they have marital difficulties, they will enter marriage counseling from a member of the clergy or from a professional marriage counselor.

If the problems persist and a divorce is desired, one of the following reasons must exist

  • Adultery
  • A felony by the other spouse (and prison sentence involving hard labor or death)
  • Abandonment (at least a year)
  • Physical or sexual abuse of a spouse or child
  • The spouses have lived apart for at least two years (there are limited exceptions in cases involving legal separations; minor children; and abuse)

Presently married couples can also choose to have their unions designated as covenant marriages, which would include renewed vows and the same restrictions on divorce.

If you are in a covenant marriage and want to know more about divorce, contact a Lake Charles attorney experienced in protecting clients in family law disputes.

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J Est 1980

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