US states allowing couples to reject easy divorce

Nov 22, 2023

As countries make divorce ever quicker and easier, some US states have found a way to fight back against the marriage-wrecking trend. Three states – Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana – allow couples to choose to enter a covenant marriage.

It means the couple make additional legally binding commitments to one another to help them make their marriage truly lifelong. It is an antidote to the ‘no fault’ divorce culture that leaves people vulnerable to abandonment at the whim of their partner. Instead, the marriage can only be dissolved on a narrow set of grounds, such as adultery (which must be proven), physical or sexual abuse, abandonment for more than a year or imprisonment.

Typically, state laws require a couple to complete premarital counselling before entering into a covenant marriage.

Covenant marriages have been around for some years, but they have recently been put back in the spotlight because Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the House of Representatives, has spoken about his own covenant marriage.

Christopher Suba, an expert in family law, told the New York Times. “With this, you can’t just decide you don’t want to be married anymore. It’s like you signed this agreement, and you are going to have to try a little harder than that.”

Real marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. While sadly not all married couples stay together, it’s right that the commitment couples make to one another is taken seriously.

At C4M we are grieved whenever countries loosen their laws to make separation easier. It’s encouraging that some states and some couples want to keep the light of real marriage commitment burning in this throw-away age. It’s a provision that our own Government should consider.