By Mike Stetzer
Proposed legislation to Texas divorce laws would allow couples to choose between different types of marriages prior to becoming husband and wife. The Texas Legislature is considering whether couples should be allowed to choose between a covenant of marriage or a standard marriage.
As its name suggests, a covenant of marriage would put more weight on the sanctity of marriage and make it especially hard to get a divorce.
A covenant of marriage would only allow divorces in adverse circumstances like domestic abuse. For a couple to even consider divorce under a covenant of marriage, they would have to undergo professional and clerical counseling.
This proposed legislation is not without debate as many opponents argue that a covenant of marriage will increase domestic abuse. Proponents counter that Texans will be forced to take marriage more seriously. If this legislation becomes law, it will be especially interesting to see which option couples choose prior to getting married.
While a standard marriage would seem to be a safe bet in terms of protecting the man and woman in case of divorce, this option may not be popular to some couples who could care less for thinking about divorce prior to even being married. However, would the constrictions of covenant marriage scare off many Texas couples and force them to choose a standard one in spite of religious convictions?
As the Texas Legislature considers such questions, its members should look at states which allow covenants of marriage-Arkansas, Arizona and Louisiana-and see what people have primarily chosen. The Legislature should also examine states like California, Florida and Georgia which introduced but did not pass similar legislation in the past and get an understanding of why they ruled against it.