The Marriage Department is responsible for issuing Marriage License applications.

Pursuant to applicable Louisiana statutes, applicants for Marriage Licenses must provide:

Covenant Marriage Act
Contracting a Covenant Marriage

The couple who chooses to enter into a Covenant Marriage agrees to be bound by two serious limitations on obtaining a divorce or separation.  These limitations do not apply to other couples married in Louisiana.

  1. The couple legally agrees to seek marital counseling if problems develop during the marriage; and

  2. The couple can only seek a divorce or legal separation for limited reasons, as explained herein.

Declaration of Intent

In order to enter into a Covenant Marriage, the couple must sign a recitation that provides:

After discussing the meaning of a Covenant Marriage with the counselor, the couple must also sign, together with an attestation by the counselor, a notarized affidavit to the effect that the counselor has discussed with them:

The two documents which comprise the Declaration of Intent - the recitation and the affidavit with attestation - must be presented to the official who issues the marriage license with the couple's application for a marriage license.

Legal Separation in a Covenant Marriage

In order to obtain a legal separation (which is not a divorce and therefore does not end the marriage), a spouse to a Covenant Marriage must first obtain counseling and then must prove:

Divorce in a Covenant Marriage

A marriage that is not a Covenant Marriage may be ended by divorce more easily than that of a Covenant Marriage.  In a marriage that is not a Covenant Marriage, a spouse may get a divorce for adultery by the other spouse, conviction of a felony by the other spouse and his imprisonment at hard labor or death, or by proof that the spouses have lived separate and apart for six months before or after filing for divorce.  In a Covenant Marriage, a spouse may get a divorce only after receiving counseling and may only get a divorce for the following reasons:

        (a) one year and six months if there is a minor child or children of the marriage

        (b) one year if the separation was granted for abuse of a child of either spouse;

        (c) one year in all other cases

A Note to Presently Married Couples

Couples who are already married may execute a declaration of intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage.  They must sign a recitation and affidavit similar to those described in this pamphlet, after receiving counseling.  The counselor must attest to the counseling.  This intent to designate their marriage into a Covenant Marriage must be filed with the official who issued their marriage license and with whom the marriage certificate of the couple if filed.  If the couple was married outside Louisiana, a copy of their marriage certificate, with the declaration of intent, shall be filed with the officer who issues marriage licenses in the parish of the couples domicile.