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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 56

as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/08/2001

Current Version - as introduced

  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to marriage; providing for covenant 
  1.3             marriages; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 
  1.4             517.08, subdivision 1a, and by adding a subdivision; 
  1.5             and 517.10; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
  1.6             Statutes, chapters 517; and 518. 
  1.7   BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
  1.8      Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 517.08, 
  1.9   subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
  1.10     Subd. 1a.  [REQUIRED INFORMATION.] Application for a 
  1.11  marriage license shall be made upon a form provided for the 
  1.12  purpose and shall contain the following information: 
  1.13     (1) the full names of the parties and the sex of each 
  1.14  party; 
  1.15     (2) their post office addresses and county and state of 
  1.16  residence; 
  1.17     (3) their full ages; 
  1.18     (4) if either party has previously been married, the 
  1.19  party's married name, and the date, place and court in which the 
  1.20  marriage was dissolved or annulled or the date and place of 
  1.21  death of the former spouse; 
  1.22     (5) if either party is a minor, the name and address of the 
  1.23  minor's parents or guardian; 
  1.24     (6) whether the parties are related to each other, and, if 
  1.25  so, their relationship; 
  1.26     (7) the name and date of birth of any child of which both 
  2.1   parties are parents, born before the making of the application, 
  2.2   unless their parental rights and the parent and child 
  2.3   relationship with respect to the child have been terminated; 
  2.4      (8) address of the bride and groom after the marriage to 
  2.5   which the court administrator shall send a certified copy of the 
  2.6   marriage certificate; 
  2.7      (9) the full names the parties will have after marriage and 
  2.8   the parties' social security numbers.  The social security 
  2.9   numbers must be collected for the application but must not 
  2.10  appear on the marriage license; 
  2.11     (10) if one or both of the parties to the marriage license 
  2.12  has a felony conviction under Minnesota law or the law of 
  2.13  another state or federal jurisdiction, the parties shall provide 
  2.14  to the county proof of service upon the prosecuting authority 
  2.15  and, if applicable, the attorney general, as required by section 
  2.16  259.13; and 
  2.17     (11) notice that a party who has a felony conviction under 
  2.18  Minnesota law or the law of another state or federal 
  2.19  jurisdiction may not use a different surname after marriage 
  2.20  except as authorized by section 259.13, and that doing so is a 
  2.21  gross misdemeanor.; and 
  2.22     (12) an acknowledgment, over the signature of both parties, 
  2.23  signaling their awareness of the covenant marriage laws in 
  2.24  Minnesota and their joint designation of their marriage as 
  2.25  either a "covenant marriage" or a "standard marriage." 
  2.26     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 517.08, is 
  2.27  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  2.28     Subd. 4.  [COVENANT MARRIAGE.] If the parties applying for 
  2.29  a marriage license intend to contract a covenant marriage 
  2.30  pursuant to sections 517.25 to 517.27, their application must 
  2.31  also include the following statement: 
  2.32     "We, (name of intended spouse) and (name of other intended 
  2.33  spouse), declare our intent to contract a covenant marriage and 
  2.34  have attached to this application the declaration of intent 
  2.35  required by Minnesota Statutes, section 517.26." 
  2.36     The parties must submit a signed declaration of intent that 
  3.1   complies with section 517.26. 
  3.2      A marriage license must contain an indication of whether or 
  3.3   not the marriage will be a covenant marriage. 
  3.4      Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 517.10, is 
  3.5   amended to read: 
  3.6      517.10 [CERTIFICATE; WITNESSES.] 
  3.7      The person solemnizing a marriage shall prepare and sign 
  3.8   three certificates thereof.  Each certificate shall contain the 
  3.9   full names before and after marriage and county and state of 
  3.10  residences of the parties and the date and place of the 
  3.11  marriage.  If the parties have entered into a covenant marriage, 
  3.12  the certificate must indicate that fact.  Each certificate shall 
  3.13  also contain the signatures of at least two of the witnesses 
  3.14  present at the marriage who shall be at least 16 years of age.  
  3.15  The person solemnizing the marriage shall give each of the 
  3.16  parties one such certificate, and shall immediately make a 
  3.17  record of such marriage, and file one such certificate with the 
  3.18  court administrator of the district court of the county in which 
  3.19  the license was issued within five days after the ceremony.  The 
  3.20  court administrator shall record such certificate in a book kept 
  3.21  for that purpose. 
  3.22     Sec. 4.  [517.25] [COVENANT MARRIAGE.] 
  3.23     Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENTS.] A covenant marriage is a 
  3.24  marriage entered into by one male and one female who understand 
  3.25  and agree that the marriage between them is a lifelong 
  3.26  relationship.  Parties to a covenant marriage must have received 
  3.27  counseling emphasizing the nature and purposes of marriage and 
  3.28  its responsibilities.  Only when there has been a complete and 
  3.29  total breach of the marital covenant commitment, as set forth in 
  3.30  section 517.26, clause (1), may the nonbreaching party seek a 
  3.31  dissolution of the marriage. 
  3.32     Subd. 2.  [PROCEDURE.] Parties may contract a covenant 
  3.33  marriage by declaring their intent to do so on their application 
  3.34  for a marriage license, as provided in section 517.08, 
  3.35  subdivision 4, and executing a declaration of intent to contract 
  3.36  a covenant marriage, as provided in section 517.26.  The 
  4.1   application for a marriage license and the declaration of intent 
  4.2   must be filed with the official who issues the marriage license. 
  4.3      Sec. 5.  [517.26] [DECLARATION OF INTENT.] 
  4.4      A declaration of intent to contract a covenant marriage 
  4.5   must contain the following: 
  4.6      (1) a recitation by the parties to the following effect: 
  4.7      "A COVENANT MARRIAGE 
  4.8      We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between 
  4.9   a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife 
  4.10  for so long as they both live.  We have chosen each other 
  4.11  carefully and disclosed to one another everything that could 
  4.12  adversely affect the decision to enter into this marriage.  We 
  4.13  have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes, and 
  4.14  responsibilities of marriage.  We have read the Covenant 
  4.15  Marriage Act, and we understand that a covenant marriage is for 
  4.16  life.  If we experience marital difficulties, we commit 
  4.17  ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our 
  4.18  marriage, including marital counseling. 
  4.19     With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do 
  4.20  hereby declare that our marriage will be bound by Minnesota law 
  4.21  on covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor, and care 
  4.22  for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives"; 
  4.23     (2) an affidavit by the parties that they have received 
  4.24  premarital counseling from a licensed or ordained minister of 
  4.25  any religious denomination, or a person authorized to solemnize 
  4.26  marriages by section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice 
  4.27  marriage and family therapy under section 148B.33.  The 
  4.28  counseling must include a discussion of the seriousness of 
  4.29  covenant marriage, communication of the fact that a covenant 
  4.30  marriage is a commitment for life, a discussion of the 
  4.31  obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital 
  4.32  difficulties, and a discussion of the exclusive grounds for 
  4.33  legally terminating a covenant marriage by dissolution after a 
  4.34  judgment of separation; 
  4.35     (3) an attestation, signed by the counselor and attached to 
  4.36  or included in the parties' affidavit, confirming that the 
  5.1   parties were counseled as to the nature and purpose of the 
  5.2   marriage and the grounds for its termination and acknowledging 
  5.3   that the counselor provided to the parties the informational 
  5.4   pamphlet developed and issued by the office of the attorney 
  5.5   general that provides a full explanation of the terms and 
  5.6   conditions of a covenant marriage; and 
  5.7      (4) the signature of both parties witnessed by a notary or, 
  5.8   if one or both of the parties are minors, the notarized written 
  5.9   consent of those persons required to consent to or authorize 
  5.10  their marriage. 
  5.11     Sec. 6.  [517.27] [APPLICABILITY TO ALREADY MARRIED 
  5.12  COUPLES.] 
  5.13     Subdivision 1.  [PROCEDURES.] Married couples may execute a 
  5.14  declaration of intent to designate their marriage as a covenant 
  5.15  marriage. 
  5.16     The declaration of intent in the form and containing the 
  5.17  contents required by subdivision 2 must be presented to the 
  5.18  officer who issued the couple's marriage license and with whom 
  5.19  the couple's marriage certificate is filed.  If the couple was 
  5.20  married outside of this state, a copy of the foreign marriage 
  5.21  certificate with the declaration of intent attached must be 
  5.22  filed with the officer who issues marriage licenses in the 
  5.23  county in which the couple is domiciled.  The officer shall make 
  5.24  a notation on the marriage certificate of the declaration of 
  5.25  intent of a covenant marriage and attach a copy of the 
  5.26  declaration to the certificate. 
  5.27     Subd. 2.  [CONTENTS OF DECLARATION OF INTENT.] A 
  5.28  declaration of intent to designate a marriage as a covenant 
  5.29  marriage must contain the following: 
  5.30     (1) a recitation by the parties to the following effect: 
  5.31     "A COVENANT MARRIAGE 
  5.32     We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between 
  5.33  a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife 
  5.34  for so long as they both live.  We understand the nature, 
  5.35  purpose, and responsibilities of marriage.  We have read the 
  5.36  Covenant Marriage Act, and we understand that a covenant 
  6.1   marriage is for life.  If we experience marital difficulties, we 
  6.2   commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our 
  6.3   marriage, including marital counseling. 
  6.4      With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we 
  6.5   declare that our marriage will be bound by Minnesota law on 
  6.6   covenant marriage, and we renew our promise to love, honor, and 
  6.7   care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our 
  6.8   lives." 
  6.9      (2) an affidavit by the parties that they have discussed 
  6.10  their intent to designate their marriage as a covenant marriage 
  6.11  with a licensed or ordained minister of any religious 
  6.12  denomination, a person authorized to solemnize marriages by 
  6.13  section 517.18, or a person authorized to practice marriage and 
  6.14  family therapy under section 148B.33, which included a 
  6.15  discussion of the obligation to seek marital counseling in times 
  6.16  of marital difficulties and the exclusive grounds for legally 
  6.17  terminating a covenant marriage by dissolution after a judgment 
  6.18  of separation; 
  6.19     (3) a notarized attestation, signed by the counselor and 
  6.20  attached to the parties' affidavit, acknowledging that the 
  6.21  counselor provided to the parties the information pamphlet 
  6.22  developed and promulgated by the office of the attorney general 
  6.23  that provides a full explanation of the terms and conditions of 
  6.24  a covenant marriage; and 
  6.25     (4) the notarized signature of both parties. 
  6.26     Sec. 7.  [518.065] [GROUNDS FOR DISSOLUTION OR SEPARATION 
  6.27  OF COVENANT MARRIAGE.] 
  6.28     Subdivision 1.  [DISSOLUTION.] Notwithstanding any other 
  6.29  law to the contrary and subsequent to the parties obtaining 
  6.30  counseling, as provided for in subdivision 3, a spouse to a 
  6.31  covenant marriage may obtain a judgment of dissolution only upon 
  6.32  proof of any of the following: 
  6.33     (1) the other spouse has committed adultery; 
  6.34     (2) the other spouse has committed a felony and has been 
  6.35  sentenced to death or imprisonment; 
  6.36     (3) the other spouse has abandoned the matrimonial domicile 
  7.1   for a period of one year and refuses to return; 
  7.2      (4) the other spouse has physically or sexually abused the 
  7.3   spouse seeking the dissolution or a child of one of the spouses; 
  7.4   or 
  7.5      (5) the spouses have been living separate and apart 
  7.6   continuously without reconciliation for a period of five years. 
  7.7      Subd. 2.  [SEPARATION.] Notwithstanding any other law to 
  7.8   the contrary and subsequent to the parties obtaining counseling, 
  7.9   a spouse to a covenant marriage may obtain a judgment of 
  7.10  separation only upon proof of any of the following: 
  7.11     (1) the other spouse has committed adultery; 
  7.12     (2) the other spouse has committed a felony and has been 
  7.13  sentenced to death or imprisonment; 
  7.14     (3) the other spouse has abandoned the matrimonial domicile 
  7.15  for a period of one year and refuses to return; 
  7.16     (4) the other spouse has physically or sexually abused the 
  7.17  spouse seeking the separation or a child of one of the spouses; 
  7.18     (5) the spouses have been living separate and apart 
  7.19  continuously without reconciliation for a period of two years; 
  7.20  or 
  7.21     (6) on account of habitual intemperance of the other 
  7.22  spouse, or domestic abuse perpetrated by the other spouse of 
  7.23  such a nature as to render their living together insupportable. 
  7.24     Subd. 3.  [POSTMARITAL COUNSELING.] No party may file a 
  7.25  petition or pleading requesting a judgment of dissolution of a 
  7.26  covenant marriage unless both parties have completed as a 
  7.27  minimum a six-month marital counseling course which emphasizes 
  7.28  the principles of reconciliation, of no less than 60 hours of 
  7.29  actual counseling time, consisting of three months of individual 
  7.30  counseling and three months of counseling as a couple, by a 
  7.31  licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, a 
  7.32  person authorized to solemnize marriages under section 517.18, 
  7.33  or a person authorized to practice marriage and family therapy 
  7.34  under section 148B.33. 
  7.35     Sec. 8.  [518.066] [COURT JURISDICTION AND INCIDENTAL 
  7.36  RELIEF.] 
  8.1      Subdivision 1.  [JURISDICTION.] (a) Any court which is 
  8.2   competent to preside over dissolution proceedings has 
  8.3   jurisdiction of an action for separation in a covenant marriage 
  8.4   if: 
  8.5      (1) one or both of the spouses are domiciled in this state 
  8.6   and the ground for separation was committed or occurred in this 
  8.7   state, or while the matrimonial domicile was in this state; or 
  8.8      (2) the ground for separation occurred elsewhere while 
  8.9   either or both of the spouses were domiciled elsewhere, provided 
  8.10  the person obtaining the separation was domiciled in this state 
  8.11  prior to the time the cause of action accrued, and is domiciled 
  8.12  in this state at the time the action is filed. 
  8.13     (b) An action for a separation in a covenant marriage must 
  8.14  be brought in a county where either party is domiciled or in the 
  8.15  county of the last matrimonial domicile.  The venue provided in 
  8.16  this subdivision may not be waived and a judgment of separation 
  8.17  rendered by a court of improper venue is void. 
  8.18     Subd. 2.  [LIMITATION.] Judgments on the pleadings and 
  8.19  summary judgments may not be granted in any action for 
  8.20  separation in a covenant marriage. 
  8.21     Subd. 3.  [INCIDENTAL RELIEF.] In a proceeding for a 
  8.22  separation or dissolution of a covenant marriage, a court may 
  8.23  award a spouse all incidental relief including, but not limited 
  8.24  to, spousal support, claims for contributions to education, 
  8.25  child custody, visitation rights, child support, injunctive 
  8.26  relief, and possession and use of a family residence.  
  8.27     Sec. 9.  [518.067] [PAMPHLET.] 
  8.28     The attorney general shall, prior to August 1, 2001, issue 
  8.29  an informational pamphlet entitled "Covenant Marriage Act," 
  8.30  outlining in sufficient detail the consequences of entering into 
  8.31  a covenant marriage.  The informational pamphlet must be made 
  8.32  available to any counselor who provides marriage counseling 
  8.33  pursuant to section 517.25 or 517.26.