'Covenant marriage' would make divorce difficult - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

'Covenant marriage' would make divorce difficult

By ANDY BROWNFIELD
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama couples who opt for a so-called covenant marriage being proposed by a state lawmaker would have a harder time seeking a divorce.

The measure passed out of committee on Wednesday would require counseling before marriage and before seeking a divorce. It would also limit the reasons for which couples can seek a divorce.

Rainbow City Republican Sen. Phil Williams says his bill is in response to the state's divorce rate, which is the nation's fourth-highest.

Opponents worry that the state has bigger issues to deal with, including drastic budget cuts and changes to Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law.

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Carol Gundlach says the bill would provide a barrier to people trying to escape abusive relationships.

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