Mississippi Enacts “Covenant Marriage”

Covenant Marriage Bill

Senate Bill 2550 passed as amended yesterday. The title is: An act to create a form of marriage to be known as covenant marriage requiring certain declarations; to provide that a covenant marriage may be dissolved in cases of adultery; to allow the deferred sale of property; to amend sections 93-1-5, 93-5-1 and 93-5-23, Mississippi code of 1972, in conformity thereto; and for related purposes. Basically a covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage, in which the marrying couple agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce. Other types of marriage in Mississippi include Common-law marriage and Traditional marriage.

Grounds for divorce in a Mississippi covenant marriage are as follows:

  • Natural impotency.
  • Adultery, unless it should appear that it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after a knowledge by complainant of the adultery.
  • Being sentenced to any penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
  • Wilful, continued and obstinate desertion for the space of one (1) year.
  • Habitual drunkenness.
  • Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug.
  • Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.
  • Insanity or idiocy at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of such infirmity.
  • Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
  • Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of such pregnancy.
  • Either party may have a divorce if they be related to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Incurable insanity.

In 1997, Louisiana became the first state to create covenant marriage as a legal category. Legislation has been introduced to create legal covenant marriage in a number of other states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Only a very small percentage of couples are choosing them in states where they are available. By the end of 2001, “Fewer than 3 percent of couples who marry in Louisiana and Arizona take on the extra restrictions of marriage by covenant.” While there are no real expectations for covenant marriages to severely lower the divorce rate in Mississippi, I believe it passed in hopes that it may lower them to some extent.

7 Comment(s)

  1. Trackback:

    Prophecyfellowship.org | Feb 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Trackback:

    http://blackhole.xerces.com | Feb 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Marriage is one of the most sacred ceremonies that we humans experience. Being married also gives us happines.`,~

    Alfie Davies | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. i recently got divorced from my russian wife because she is a very irresponsible woman lol

    William Roberts | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. @ Alfie
    Sacred? People keep talking about keeping marriage sacred – is that why there’s so many states that allow marriage between first cousins?


    Rants&Raves | Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

  6. marriage is great specially if you have found a very special someone that is beautiful both on the inside and outside.’*-

    Alexander Hall | Jul 25, 2010 | Reply

  7. marriage is one of the happiest moments that a person will experience in his/her life”:~

    Charlotte Wright | Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

Post a Comment