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What Is A Covenant Marriage

What is a Covenant Marriage, and how is it different then regular marriage vows?

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 ---kathr4453 on 11/21/06
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It is an agreement never to divorce.

Leaving aside the spiritual and Biblical issues here, and looking at only the ramifications at secular law, I don't see how this arrangement can hold up in a civil court. Any lawyers here care to comment?
---Jack on 5/11/08

Covenant Marriage. For those who do not have the marital will to stay married without government intervention. It's a trap for many women who become entangled in abusive marriages (verbal,mental). Usually it'a a two-year wait before a divorce becomes final. The government makes it too annoying or difficult to get one. So you go to another state where covenant marriages are not honored, and get your divorce.
---Jonie on 11/22/06

Covenant marriages differ from the ceremony marriage without a license.
There is a license, but with all the added stipulations that will supposedly keep you in it. They're not successful in the states that have them.
---Jonie on 11/22/06

Kathr, Covenant Marriages are only legal in a few states. As I understand it, couples undergo rigorous premarital bible-based counseling which includes exploring the possibility of reuniting with an ex-spouse (if divorced), abstaining from premarital sex, etc. They can also only be divorced under very narrow circumstances such as adultery or abuse.
---AlwaysOn on 11/22/06

No, it is not. When it dissolves, you won't need a divorce decree, because there was not a marriage license. For states that do not acknowledge common law marriages, it does not stand up in a court of law.
---Cindy on 11/21/06

Drive your car around without a license. If you get into an accident, your insurance (if you have it), will not cover you. Same for these type of marriages. Get into an accident and your covenant partner's insurance will not cover you.
---Tim on 11/21/06

Cindy. There is nothing illegal or underhanded by performing a marriage ceremony without a license. You seem to think it's not obeying the law and dancing around but it's perfectly legal and binding in the sight of the law and God.The benefits and responsibilities are the same as a licensed marriage.
---john on 11/21/06

**Here you need a marriage license for the relationship to hold up in court.**

I see that I ws not clear.

This agreement not to divorce is in ADDITION to fulfilling the usual legal requirements.

As far as I know, the only state that has covenant marriage as I used here is Arkansas.
---Jack on 11/21/06

it is an attempt to stop the high divorce rates in our nation. a covenant marriage is harder to enter and to get out of. It's a pretty good attemp but I doubt it'll stand for long mainly because people are stuborn and we don't look for the long haul. the past generation forgot what marriage ment and not the current marrying generation and the future generations don't know how to be married.
---Jared on 11/21/06

It'a form of Godliness, but denies the power thereof. The 'power' that comes with a marriage license. Health insurance, retirement and all the other entitlements.
---Tim on 11/21/06

A marriage with all of the "benefits", but none of the financial obligations. They are permittable, allowable, but without a marriage license. My question is for ministers performing these ceremonies. Are they not compromising by allowing couples to reap all the financial benefits without going down to the courthouse and putting it on the books? If we are to follow traffic, hunting, tax laws -how does a minister in good conscience skate around this one? Does he not have some accountability?
---Cindy on 11/21/06

The argument has been made that they're beautiful, special ceremonies, but so are marriages that have a license. It's a workaround the law that make the couple feel better about shacking up. The shame isn't there, supposedly. But I don't buy it.
---Cindy on 11/21/06

It is not an agreement never to divorce.

Covenant - a binding agreement.

The concept of marriage is based on an agreement between a husband and wife to stay true to each other for the rest of their lives. The agreement is made before God.

The marriage vows are the terms on which the covenant is based.
---laure5759 on 11/21/06

Jack. I'm not a lawyer but I do know how it works in Canada. Here you need a marriage license for the relationship to hold up in court. If you live together for 6 months they automatically consider you partners and half of everything each one owns belongs to the other. Also, marriage tax benefits are theirs. The same as if they had the civil marriage with the paper licence. Ceremonies without licence is totally legal here but the govt. calls it a common law marriage.
---john on 11/21/06

I've officiated at several of these. I give them a certificate that the bride and groom and witnesses sign. The govt. here considers this a common law marriage. Scripturally your word is binding in the sight of God even without paper. Man invented the paper licence as a money grab. Man also invented the divorce paper. Many govts. dont recognize these marriages but I haven't heard of a place were covenant unions are illegal.
---john on 11/21/06

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