Acadia Parish Clerk of Court
Crowley, Louisiana

Marriage

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The Marriage Department is responsible for issuing Marriage License applications.

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

bulletApplicants must be 18 years of age.  If you are 16 or 17, both parents must come in and sign an acknowledgment and approval form.  If you are 15 and under, you must have a court order plus the signatures of both parents on the acknowledgment and approval form.
bulletA certified copy of both parties birth certificates.
bulletDriver's license or state issued I.D. Card.
bulletParents names and where they were born.
bulletMother's maiden name.
bulletBoth parties social security numbers.
bulletAll minors must have both parents come in and sign an acknowledgment and approval form.
bulletIf either party was previously married, you will need to show proof of how the marriage ended, I.E.; a divorce judgment or a death certificate.
bulletTo purchase a marriage license without parental or court intervention, you must be at least 18 years of age.  If either party to the marriage is between the ages of 16 and 18, the signatures of both parents are required.  If either party is under the age of 16, a court order is required in order to obtain a license.
bulletLicenses generally must be purchased at least 72 hours in advance of the ceremony.
Note:  Marriage licenses expire 30 days from the date of issue.
bulletMarriage license is only good in the State of Louisiana.
bulletThe cost is $27.50, payable in cash, check or money order to the Clerk of Court.

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:

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A marriage is an agreement to live together as husband and wife forever;

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The parties have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to each other "everything which could adversely affect" the decision to marry;

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The parties have received  premarital counseling;

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A commitment that if the parties experience marital difficulties, they commit to take all reasonable efforts to preserve their marriage, including marital counseling; and

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The couple must also obtain premarital counseling from a  priest, minister, rabbi or similar clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor.

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:

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The seriousness of a Covenant Marriage;

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That the commitment to the marriage is one for life;

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The obligation of the couple to seek

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marital counseling if problems arise in their marriage;

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That they have received the informational pamphlet published by the Attorney General entitled "Covenant Marriage Act."

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:

bulletAdultery by the other spouse;
bulletCommission of a felony by the other spouse and a sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death;
bulletAbandonment by the other spouse for one year;
bulletPhysical or sexual abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse;
bulletThe spouses have lived separate and apart for two years; or
bulletHabitual intemperance (for example, alcohol or drug abuse), cruel treatment, or severe ill treatment by the other spouse.

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:

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Adultery by the other spouse;

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Commission of a felony by the other spouse and sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death;

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Abandonment by the other spouse for one year;

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Physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse;

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The spouses have lived separate and apart for two years; or the spouses are judicially or  legally separated and have lived separate and apart since the legal separation for;

        (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.