Sarah Beresford has written an interesting piece on the justification for eliminating religious rites from marriage and divorce. It's available on the web in the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues. Below is the summary of her article.
This article explores some of the legal and religious aspects of marriage and divorce in England and Wales and America. It argues that legal marriage and divorce (if it is to continue to exist as a legal concept), should be purely secular and civil. In other words, there should be no religious involvement of any kind at the formation or demise of a legally regulated relationship such as marriage. This article further suggests that the state and the law should not facilitate or promote religiosity in marriage or divorce, nor should religious marriages should have any legal force. Instead of continuing to encourage religiosity in marriage and divorce, Law should instead look to ways of strengthening the secularisation of marriage and divorce.
Sarah Beresford, University of Lancaster, Seeking Secularism: Resisting Religiosity in Marriage and Divorce--A Comparative Study of England and America, 3 Web JCLI (2010).