Two-year Marriages?

Written by Father Bill No Comments

Now, this will certainly solve the divorce problem! Lawmakers in Mexico City are proposing a new marriage licence that would allow couples to split after a two-year trial rather than go through the lengthier divorce process.

Will any of them say ’till death to us part?’ is there an equivalent of that phrase in Mexican marriage ceremony folklore? Under the proposed new law, couples would be able to opt for temporary commitments, test out married life, and then renew their licenses indefinitely if they so choose. “Two years is the minimum amount of time it takes to know and appreciate what life is like as a couple,” Lizbeth Rosas, who is spearheading the proposed legislation on behalf of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, said to BBC Mundo in Spanish.

But what if things head south for the newlywed couple before the passage of two years? In that case, couples would have to go through regular divorce proceedings. And, if they renew “indefinitely” at the two-year mark and subsequently change their mind, then again the regular divorce proceeding in civil court would need to be followed.

“At first I thought it was a hoax,” Consuelo Mendoza, of the national union of parents, said to BBC Mundo in Spanish. “These initiatives create a culture of disposability within important societal issues.” “This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage,” said Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese, who was quoted in Spanish across various media. But consider: gay marriage is now legal. If the “nature of marriage” is that malleable, why not bend or twist or stretch that definition further?

The only sensible criticism of this proposed legislation is illustrated by that gate in the picture above. What is the point of such a gate?Why pay some government bureaucrat a fee, which to create a contract which binds you for two years to another person you may wish to be rid of? Why not just have a roommate with benefits arrangement which incurs no governmental fee and which can be dispensed with at any time with no need to spend money and time in the courts?

Proposals like this and those who contest them are both alike tempests in teapots. The nature of marriage was altered long ago (at least here in the USA) with the wide-spread adoption of no-fault divorce, where either spouse can force a dissolution of the marriage at any time for any reason at all. In the wake of that change, a marriage ceremony is a threat to one’s future financial welfare, at least until civil law removes all vestiges of the community property consequences of marrying.

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