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.