Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard created a unique set of rules for their courtship and engagement, so it should come as no surprise that the couple also sought out a rare type of marriage. As People.com reported earlier today, the Dillards agreed to a covenant marriage.
If that term is unfamiliar to you, don't worry. Just three states – Arkansas, Louisiana and Arizona – offer this special type of license. Though a covenant marriage doesn't replace the marriage options available in these states, it simply offers additional opportunities for couples seeking a higher level of commitment.
In order to apply for this type of marriage, Jill and Derick received premarital counseling and agreed that if they ever ran into problems in their marriage, they would seek marital counseling by a member of the clergy or a licensed professional. Covenant marriages in Arkansas (where Jill and Derick were married) do not permit no-fault divorces, or divorces that are granted without evidence that the marital contract was broken. In order for someone in this type of marriage to file for divorce, he or she must prove that their spouse committed one of the following: adultery, a felony or serious crime, physical or sexual abuse of one of their children, is living separatelyfor at least two years (2.5 if they have a child), living separately for a year if there is a child and there was spousal or child abuse.
These marriages are extremely uncommon, with less than 1 percent of couples in these three states applying for this type of license.
But their families have no doubt that this type of commitment is right for these lovebirds. People.com spoke to Cathy Dillard, Derick's mother, who signed their covenant marriage certificate. "It was so special. But it wouldn't matter if they chose that type of marriage certificate or not, those two would still have a covenant marriage."
Be sure to watch Jill and Derick walk down the aisle Tuesday, October 28 at 9/8c.
-- Mara Betsch
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