In 1998 Arizona began offering covenant marriage, a type of marriage that makes it harder to get married and harder to get divorced. A covenant marriage occurs when you obtain counseling before marriage and then sign a declaration when applying for your marriage license. The declaration must state:
“We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do declare that our marriage will be bound by Arizona law on covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.”
These additional steps in addition to having a marriage ceremony make a marriage a covenant marriage.
Because covenant marriage is meant to be more difficult to end, the legislature has set out only a few specific situations in which a divorce can be granted.
- Your spouse has committed adultery.
- Your spouse has committed a felony with a sentence of imprisonment or death.
- Your spouse has abandoned you and the marital residence for at least a year and refuses to return.
- Your spouse committed domestic violence; or sexually or physically abused you, a child or a relative of yours or your spouse’s who is permanently living in the marital home.
- You and your spouse have lived separately for one year from a decree of separation and have not reconciled.
- Your spouse regularly abuses drugs or alcohol.
- You and your spouse agree to get a divorce.
If you want a divorce from a covenant marriage, the Sampair Group can help you. Our Maricopa County firm is available to represent you. Call us today.