Louisiana to Adopt Covenant Marriages
A Louisiana state law adopted recently makes "covenant marriages," that is, marriages where both parties waive the right to a no-fault divorce, legal. The purpose of this law is to create a "more binding legal union" where couples will be obligated to work out smaller problems, and allowed divorce only over reasons such as adultery, abuse, abandonment, or a lengthy separation. Couples will have to go to court to prove their reasons for divorce are adequate. Groups such as the Christian Coalition have advocated these marriages on the grounds that divorce has negative effects on children. The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana counters the Christian Coalition stance, suggesting that children would be better off removed from the hostile environment of an unhappy family. Some predict the law will have negative effects on women, making it more difficult for them and their children to leave abused homes.
Media Resources: The Washington Post - August 15, 1997