Marriage is one of the Sacraments of the Coptic Church. It is a union between one man and one woman for a life blessed by God. There are very few reasons for the dissolution of marriage. This is in contrast to civil divorce, which is easy in California, especially if there are no children and no problem with the distribution of assets. In civil court, the husband and wife can simply declare that there are irreconcilable differences between them. The judge can then consider the marriage dissolved and grant them legal divorce.
In the Coptic Church, adultery is the major reason for divorce. Another reason for divorce is a change of one of the spouse’s faith. Usually the couple receives legal divorce through the civil courts. However, if one of them wishes to get married again in the Coptic Church, he/she has to receive permission from a church council to remarry. This council is called the “Ecclesiastic Council for Family Affairs” and is usually made up of several priests headed by a bishop. The permission is usually given to the individual not at fault. This person is then allowed to re-marry in the Coptic Church.