Jill Dillard and Derick Dillard’s marriage is more unique than you think.
The 19 Kids and Counting stars are already married in real life but fans won’t get to see Jill and Derick walk down the aisle until tonight’s episode of their TLC reality series.
Tuesday’s show is a special, titled 19 Kids and Counting: Jill’s Wedding. According to People, fans of the show will be interested to discover that Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband entered into an uncommon partnership known as a “covenant marriage.”
Derick and Jill Dillard got married in the state of Arkansas, one of the few states that provides a covenant marriage option. Entering into a covenant marriage makes divorce more difficult — couples must agree to seek counseling before being granted a divorce, and the law also “increases the time that a separation has to be in place before a divorce can be granted.” In other words, wives and husbands in a covenant marriage will have more time to reconsider their decision to divorce. The covenant marriage law prohibits no-fault divorces. This means one party must show proof that the other party has committed some sort of wrongdoing in order to be granted a divorce.
Some of Jill Duggar Dillard’s fans may be shocked to learn that she and Derick felt the need for a covenant marriage — it’s hard to imagine the extremely religious pair considering a divorce. If Derick and Jill ever did experience major marital problems, many 19 Kids and Counting fans would expect to see the couple praying together and asking their families and preachers for advice. They certainly wouldn’t think that the Dillards would need to be legally forced to work on avoiding divorce.
However, Jill Dillard and Derick Dillard did admit that their motivations for getting married weren’t entirely pure. As Celebitchy points out, Jill once confessed that she might not be as tempted to get married without her sexual urges. “You may not have much motivation if you weren’t having those attractions,” she told TLC’s cameras. Derick Dillard agreed that “the physical side is there for a reason and it’s to draw you toward marriage.” Once the initial physical thrill is gone, perhaps Jill and Derick are worried that their bond won’t be as strong — hence their covenant marriage.
Derick Dillard’s mother Cathy signed the couple’s covenant marriage certificate, but she doesn’t think that Derick and Jill really needed it.
“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.”
According to the Washington Post, covenant marriages are very rare. They’re only offered in Arizona, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and they aren’t very popular — between the years 2000 and 2010, less than one percent of all marriages in each of the states were covenant marriages. According to historian Stephanie Coontz, covenant marriages could cause problems for kids whose parents decide to get divorced. Coontz points out that moms and dads are “more likely to parent amicably if they haven’t been locked into a long separation process.”
However, it’s doubtful that divorce is on the minds of Jill Duggar Dillard and Derick Dillard right now. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the couple is looking forward to the birth of their baby boy in March, and they’re already thinking about expanding their brood. Jill even said that she’s open to adoption.
What do you think of Jill Duggar Dillard’s covenant marriage?
[Image via Crossmap]