Does Arizona Covenant Marriage Prevent Divorce?
Entering into a covenant marriage — which is not an easy process — requires couples to undergo pre-marital counseling and present a sworn affidavit as part of the marriage certificate application process. Couples who enter into a covenant marriage sign a promise to seek marital counseling in the event of marital difficulties. However, the actual divorce process from a covenant marriage basically follows the same rules as divorce from a non-covenant marriage.
A person filing for divorce (the petitioner) can file against a spouse (the respondent) based on the same grounds, as set forth in Section 25-903 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, as follows:
- Adultery by the respondent
- A felony crime committed by the respondent resulting in a sentence of death or imprisonment
- Abandonment by the respondent for at least one year in most cases
- Physical or sexual abuse or domestic violence by the respondent
- Spouses continuously living separate and apart, generally for two years
- Spouses who have already received a legal separation by the courts
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol by the respondent
- Agreement by both spouses to divorce
Divorcing from a covenant marriage also requires couples to address the same settlement issues — property division, alimony (if applicable) and child custody, support and parenting time. If you wish to divorce from a covenant marriage, you still need to retain an experienced Scottsdale, AZ divorce attorney who can identify your unique issues and help you make important decisions.