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Covenant Marriage in Louisiana

Posted by Devonna Ponthieu | May 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

In Louisiana, a "covenant marriage" is an alternative to an ordinary marriage. A covenant marriage is one in which the couple agrees, during times of marital difficulty, to take all reasonable steps necessary to preserve their marriage, including marital counseling, before seeking a divorce. Additionally, it eliminates most "no-fault" divorce options; therefore, a spouse who later wants a divorce must prove one of several grounds for divorce allowed under Louisiana's covenant marriage law. For these reasons, divorce after a covenant marriage is much more difficult and time-consuming than a typical no-fault divorce. However, Louisiana does not require marrying couples to enter into covenant marriages. It is their choice.
Getting a divorce is much harder in a covenant marriage. First you need to file for separation of bed and board. There is a much longer wait time to confirm the divorce AND you must seek counseling before confirming the divorce. LA R.S. 9:272 governs covenant marriage.  See below:
 

§272. Covenant marriage; intent; conditions to create

A. A covenant marriage is a marriage entered into by one male and one female who understand and agree that the marriage between them is a lifelong relationship. Parties to a covenant marriage have received counseling emphasizing the nature and purposes of marriage and the responsibilities thereto. Only when there has been a complete and total breach of the marital covenant commitment may the non-breaching party seek a declaration that the marriage is no longer legally recognized.

B. A man and woman may contract a covenant marriage by declaring their intent to do so on their application for a marriage license, as provided in R.S. 9:224(C), and executing a declaration of intent to contract a covenant marriage, as provided in R.S. 9:273. The application for a marriage license and the declaration of intent shall be filed with the official who issues the marriage license.

C. A covenant marriage terminates only for one of the causes enumerated in Civil Code Article 101. A covenant marriage may be terminated by divorce only upon one of the exclusive grounds enumerated in R.S. 9:307. A covenant marriage agreement may not be dissolved, rescinded, or otherwise terminated by the mutual consent of the spouses.

About the Author

Devonna Ponthieu

Trusted Attorney in Denham Springs, Livingston Parish & Baton Rouge, LA DeVonna Ponthieu was born in Victoria, Texas and moved to Baton Rouge when she was fourteen years old. She graduated from Istrouma High School in 1977. In 1987, she married her husband, John Ponthieu, and was married to h...

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