Alabama bill would make it more difficult to divorce for those who choose a covenant marriage

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, which has been passed out of committee, 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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