As of August 21, 1998, Arizona incorporated into statute a
new type of marriage called “covenant marriage." (The law
can be found in Sections 25-901 through 25-906 of the
Arizona Revised Statutes.) This pamphlet describes what
steps must be taken to enter into a covenant marriage. It also
lists the limited reasons available for a legal separation or
divorce for those in a covenant marriage. The pamphlet contains only general information. If you have questions about
covenant marriage, please ask a member of the clergy, a marriage counselor or an attorney of your choice.
What is a Covenant Marriage?
The State Legislature has created a type of marriage in
Arizona called ...view middle of the document...
Call the Clerk of the Superior Court in
your county for information on where to apply for a marriage license.
For a covenant marriage, certain information must be
included in the marriage license application. By law (Section
25-901 of the Arizona Revised Statutes) a person must state
their intention to enter into a covenant marriage. This statement (or “declaration”) must contain three things:
1. A written statement, printed exactly as follows:
A Covenant Marriage
We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a
man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife
for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a
covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties,
we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our
marriage, including marital counseling.
With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do
declare that our marriage will be bound by Arizona law on
covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor and care for
one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.2. The signed and sworn statement of both people that
they have received premarital counseling from a member of
the clergy or from a marriage counselor.
In premarital counseling, both people must be advised
that a covenant marriage is a commitment for life. Premarital
counseling also must include a discussion of the seriousness
of covenant marriage, the requirement to seek marriage
counseling if marital difficulties develop and the limited
legal reasons available for ending the marriage by legal separation or divorce. The couple also must receive a copy of
3. The signatures of both parties witnessed by a court
The parties must submit with the license application a
sworn, notarized statement from the member of the clergy or
marriage counselor who provided the premarital counseling.
This statement must confirm that the parties were advised
about the nature and purpose of a covenant marriage and the
limited reasons for ending the marriage by legal separation
or divorce. The counselor’s statement also must show that a
copy of this informational pamphlet was given to each person. A sample affidavit is available at:
Covenant Marriage for
Already Married Persons
People who are already married in this or any state may
change (or "convert") their marriage to a covenant marriage.
In this situation, it is not necessary to have premarital counseling or to apply for a marriage license and go through a
marriage ceremony. To convert a marriage, the married couple must pay a fee (prescribed in Section 12-284(A) of the
Arizona Revised statutes) to the Clerk of the Superior Court
and present two things:
1. A written statement ("declaration") like the one