The Mormon people have a unique wedding culture, but do they get divorced?
There is much speculation and questions about Mormon marriage, but what are the true facts around divorce?
Mormons get divorced like many other religious groups, however, they need to get a legal divorce and sometimes a temple separation if they have had a temple wedding. While divorce is an option for Mormons, there are additional rules if the couple has had a temple wedding.
In this article, we will explore the process and procedures of Mormon marriages and the rules of divorce.
The Two Types of Mormon Marriage
Within the Mormon religion there are two types of marriage:
- Sealed Temple Marriage
- Civil Marriage
Both these marriages hold different procedures for divorce, one legally binding, which is called a civil marriage, and one that holds the couple together for all eternity, a temple marriage.
Although the couple can separate legally, they will have to get permission to end their eternal sealing.
It is the couple’s choice which ceremony they would like and although a sealed temple marriage is to be preferred as it ensures they are eligible for entry into the highest echelons of Mormon heaven, civil marriage is a lot easier in terms of a divorce.
What is the Divorce Procedure for a Mormon Civil Marriage?
Can Mormons get divorced?
The first option for Latter-Day Saints to get divorced is to go through a civil divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage.
This comprises applying to the government for separation and sometimes going to court for a division of assets.
Once this process has been completed the Mormon couple are officially and legally divorced, freeing them of one another.
What is the Divorce Procedure for a Mormon Sealed Temple Marriage?
If a Mormon couple gets married in a temple, it is called a ‘temple sealing’. This means you are bound forever after this life and for eternity.
If you wish to break this union, you must request a temple sealing cancellation from the first presidency of the church.
A temple marriage is common among Latter-Day Saints, and only a president of the church can allow the cancellation of sealing after this type of marriage.
This kind of divorce not only separates the couple in this life but also in the afterlife and for all eternity.
A temple sealing divorce has various procedures depending on gender and compromises of different rules. As a female, she must meet with the Bishop to state her grounds for the unsealing.
The female must also explain to the Bishop her reason for wanting to be sealed to another person, give reasons for her divorce, and provide information on her civil divorce to be eligible for a sealing cancellation.
Male Mormons who had had a temple sealing do not need to meet with the Bishop or have a cancellation and can freely take part in a new temple sealing and be bound for all eternity to a new wife.
Although it is a common stereotype that Mormon men practice Polyogamy, this is in fact not true.
As we have stated, the men are permitted to have more than one temple sealing to various wives however, the physical practice of polygamy as we know it was publicly rejected in 1890.
What is the Divorce Rate of Mormon Marriages?
Mormons have a much higher rate of marriage and lower rates of divorce. This is because the church of the Latter-Day Saints officially disapproves of divorce, however, they do permit it.
The low rate of divorce is between 7-10% in the Mormon community and is frequently lower in couples who regularly attend their church.
Interestingly when a Mormon man or woman marries outside their faith, the divorce rate soars to a much larger 40%.
So, now we know if the Mormon community can get divorced and the processes that have to take place to do so.
Mormon marriages go through two types of divorce, one civil and one that unties you in the afterlife.
We understand that although it is not ideal within the community; it is an option for those who feel it is necessary.
The process and procedures of Mormon divorce are forever changing and will likely continue to do so as the community grows and develops over time.