Divorce in the Amish church is grounds for excommunication

amish divorceAmish take their wedding vows seriously.  Divorce is not sanctioned in the Amish church, though may occur in rare cases.  Divorce is seen as reason for excommunication.  Separations, however, do occasionally occur among Amish.

Do Amish remarry?

Amish do not remarry so long as their previous partner is alive.  However, Amish do frequently remarry in the case of a partner’s death.  Older Amish may remarry for companionship.  In order to support themselves, Amish widows may take on work outside of the home or may receive financial assistance from church and family.

amish married couple

Marriage in the Amish church is for life

Hurst and McConnell describe a gender imbalance between widows and widowers in the Holmes County, Ohio Amish community.  This is rooted in the fact that men die earlier, and that men are more likely to remarry.

Interestingly, Hurst and McConnell note that courtship which occurs when one of the partners has been widowed tends to be very private.  “It is sometimes done through the mail—the couple might not even see each other during their courtship—“, the authors note, “placing the Amish at the cutting edge of “mail dating.”


For further information, see:

An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World’s Largest Amish Community, Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell


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