Understanding Covenant Marriage in Arizona: ARS 25-903 Explained

The Importance of Understanding Covenant Marriage in Arizona

Covenant Marriage: A Different Way of Approaching Marriage

Marriage is not just a legal contract, but it is also a sacred bond between two individuals. In Arizona, the concept of marriage has been taken to a new level with the introduction of Covenant Marriage. The issue of marriage can be complicated, which is why it is essential to know and understand the concept of Covenant Marriage.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

A Covenant Marriage is a type of marriage that has been in effect in Arizona since 1998. In a traditional marriage, couples go through the standard marriage process, but in a Covenant Marriage, the couples have to go through premarital counseling and sign a Declaration of Intent. The declaration states that both the parties understand that marriage is a sacred and lifelong commitment and is not to be taken lightly.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Covenant Marriage

Covenant Marriage has been both praised and criticized since its inception. Supporters believe that it encourages couples to take marriage seriously, and thus, reducing the divorce rate. Additionally, if a couple wants a divorce in a Covenant Marriage, they must prove one of the several grounds, such as adultery, abuse, abandonment, and a felony conviction. This makes it more challenging to obtain a divorce, and thus, discouraging people from making rash decisions. However, critics believe that it intrudes into the private choices of individuals, and it is another example of government intrusion.

The Significance of Covenant Marriage in Arizona

Arizona is one of the three states where Covenant Marriage is legal; the other two being Arkansas and Louisiana. The concept of Covenant Marriage is aimed at reducing the divorce rate and encouraging couples to work through their problems. In Arizona, one of the primary motivations behind the introduction of this concept was to strengthen families that are the foundation of society. Covenant Marriage provides an alternative way of viewing marriage and strengthens the institution of marriage in Arizona.

Requirements of Covenant Marriage

As mentioned earlier, premarital counseling is mandatory in Covenant Marriage. The counseling lasts a minimum of four hours and covers areas such as communication, conflict resolution, finances, and relations. Additionally, both parties must sign a Declaration of Intent that outlines that divorce is allowed only under limited circumstances. If either of the parties wishes to divorce, they must attend counseling first to explore alternative options before filing for a divorce.

The Process of Ending a Covenant Marriage

If a couple wishes to end their Covenant Marriage, they must provide evidence that they fall under one of the limited grounds for divorce. Some of the most commonly cited reasons include adultery, domestic violence, abandonment, and a felony conviction. After providing the necessary evidence, the couple must attend counseling to explore alternative options before filing for divorce. If the couple decides to go through with the divorce, they must file a different type of complaint.


Covenant Marriage is a revolutionary concept that aims to strengthen the institution of marriage. While it may have both pros and cons, it is essential to understand the concept and evaluate it from a personal standpoint before making an informed decision. It is always wise to be informed about the different ways that marriage can be approached, which is why Covenant Marriage is a crucial concept to understand in Arizona.

Covenant Marriage in Arizona