Are covenant marriages still recognized?

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2011

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Are covenant marriages still recognized?

In AR. If I wanted a divorce, would I still have to go through counseling? What if my husband does not think that we need counseling?

Asked on January 18, 2011 under Family Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

My understanding is that, yes, covenant marriages are still recognized in your state. A covenant marriage is deemed to be a “higher” form of marriage; the couple legally contracts to be married for life.  Under a such a marriage, the couple automatically agrees to attend marriage counseling before pursuing divorce.  Additionally, grounds for a divorce are more limited under a covenant marriage; there are only 3 grounds - adultery, felony conviction, or domestic violence. A couple may also pursue divorce after separation as with any marriage, but under a covenant marriage instead of waiting the usual 18 months, the couple must live separately for 2 years (or 2 1/2 if minor children are involved).

At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney in your area. They can best advise as to your specific situation.

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