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 reason:
Adultery by the other spouse;
Commission of a felony by the other spouse and sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death;
Abandonment by the other spouse for one year;
Physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse;
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.
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 the aforementioned pamphlet, after receiving counseling. The counselor must attest to the counseling. This intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage must be filed with the official who issued their marriage license and with whom the marriage certificate of the couple is filed. If the couple was married outside of 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.