Louisiana was the first state in the nation to introduce covenant marriage. But a recent study shows, it has not reduced the number of families breaking up. The covenant marriage movement sets out to promote and strengthen marriages, reduce the rate of divorce, lessen the number of children born out of wedlock, discourage cohabitation and frame marriage as an honorable and desirable institution. Under a traditional marriage, a couple is entitled to a no-fault divorce only after a six-month separation.
But when a couple opts for the covenant marriage, they agree to waive their right to the no-fault divorce, only in the event of adultery, abuse, abandonment or a lengthy separation. In the latest poll of family intactness, Louisiana ranks sits at the bottom of the country, behind Mississippi. Fifteen years in, about two percent of Louisiana couples choose covenant marriages and those people do have lower divorce rates. In the United States, ten point six percent of the population is currently divorced. In Louisiana, that number is higher, at eleven and a half percent. And in Shreveport-Bossier the number is even higher, with twelve point eight percent of our people divorced. The people who did the study which ranked Louisiana 49th on family intactness, say that many negative outcomes, like poverty, crime, and lower education levels, can be linked to a lack of a two parent household.