The Tie That Binds – Is Louisiana Covenant Marriage Right for You?

According to the April 9, 2014 edition of The Advocate, the Louisiana legislature is studying how covenant marriages are faring in Louisiana.

A Louisiana covenant marriage is one that requires couples to make certain legal commitments and assume certain legal liabilities that couples who enter into a non-covenant marriage do not make or assume.  In general it is more difficult and time consuming to dissolve a covenant marriage by divorce than to dissolve a non-covenant marriage. Not surprisingly, the legislature learned that although covenant marriages make up a “tiny fraction” of Louisiana marriages, they suffer from a much smaller divorce rate.  It goes without saying that if you make something difficult to do, people will tend not to do it.  Likewise, if a couple knows before marriage that they are choosing a tie that binds them more tightly together, they are more likely to persevere when times are tough.

The lower divorce rate in covenant marriages is a good thing from a societal standpoint.  The old adage “two heads are better than one” is true whether you are talking about solving problems, supporting and raising children, saving for retirement, or just paying your bills.  But restrictions on the fast food of status changes make some people uncomfortable.  We don’t like the law telling us that we cannot divorce our husbands and wives at will.

What should you do if your fiancé proposes that you enter into a covenant marriage?  On the one hand, your prospects for a long and relatively happy married life may improve.  On the other hand, if you want out, it won’t be as easy.  Your initial reaction to his or her suggestion of a covenant marriage may be an indication of your true feelings.  If you don’t like the idea, that could be a sign of trouble ahead.  Prenuptial agreements, like covenant marriages, test the happily engaged couple’s resolve.  If you have doubts, consult with an attorney before you make a decision on either of these important issues.