Covenant Marriage and Divorce

As fans of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” gear up from Jill Duggar’s wedding, a lot of questions are coming up about the couple’s planned “covenant marriage.” More specifically, “what does ‘covenant marriage’ mean for divorce?”

The Couple

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard met online, met in person in Nepal, and following a traditional courtship, got married this past summer – with a high level of commitment.

“Covenant Marriage” and Divorce

The couple, who were married in Arkansas, chose a “covenant marriage.” The covenant marriage law holds couples to an agreement that they will seek counseling before pursuing a divorce, and before a divorce can be granted. The law also provides more limited grounds for divorce through increasing the amount of time a legal separation must be in place before a divorce is able to be granted. “I signed their covenant marriage certificate,” said Derick’s mom, Cathy, 57, after the couple said their I Dos. “It was so special. But it wouldn’t matter if they chose that type of marriage certificate or not, those two would still have a covenant marriage.”

The Happy Couple and Family

Regardless of the type of marriage, divorce is far from this happy couple’s mind. “This is a time we have prayed for for 23 years,” Jill’s father, Jim Bob, 50, said at the wedding. “As Jill and I were out in the hallway waiting to come in, I thought about how Michelle and I got married 30 years ago. I couldn’t hold back the tears thinking I was giving away my daughter. It was an exciting time, but it was also a time of a lot of emotion.”

Jill and Derick are now expecting their first child – a boy!

Source: People, Derick and Jill Duggar Dillard’s ‘Covenant Marriage’ Explained, October 27, 2014

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