Most item response theory models are not robust to violations of conditional independence. However, several modeling approaches (e.g., conditioning on other responses, additional random effects) exist that try to incorporate local item dependencies, but they have some drawbacks such as the nonreproducibility of marginal probabilities and resulting interpretation problems. In this paper, a new class of models making use of copulas to deal with local item dependencies is introduced. These models belong to the bigger class of marginal models in which margins and association structure are modeled separately. It is shown how this approach overcomes some of the problems associated with other local item dependency models.