In late September 2011, lawmakers in Mexico City proposed a new marriage license that would allow a couple to have a 2 year trial marriage. If, at the end of those 2 years, the couple still wanted to be together, they could renew their marriage license indefinitely. If, however, the married life, or their chosen spouse, is not what they had hoped for, they would go their separate ways, without having to go through a lengthy, potentially messy divorce.
Lizbeth Rosas Montero, on behalf of the Party of Democratic Revolution, the party who is putting forward this legislation, said that “two years is the minimum amount of time it takes to know and appreciate what life is like as a couple. If you renew, that means you have an understanding with your partner, and that you are clear on the rules of the relationship.”
The proposed new licensing procedure would involve a form of contract between the prospective bride and groom, which would include provisions for division of property, custody of children, and financial matters.
Not surprisingly, the proposal has sparked a heated debate. It is a far cry from traditional marriage, and in various social media commentary, has been compared to leasing a car to see if you like it before you buy it.
This appears to be an attempt to address an increasing divorce rate in Mexico, which is nearing 50%. In Canada, we are not far behind. Statistics Canada reported in 2008 that 43.1% of marriages are expected to end in divorce before the 50th wedding anniversary.
I often hear people comment that it is so easy to get married, but so difficult to get divorced. Much of the difficulty stemming from the breakdown of a marriage relates to issues of custody and money. The proposed law for Mexico City appears to require contracts as part of the marriage licensing process, in effect mandatory prenuptial agreements. This requirement will reduce the issues to fight about if, at the end of the 2 year trial marriage, either spouse opts not to renew.
So, would you like to have “leased” your spouse for 2 years before you decided to take the permanent plunge?!
To discuss the consequences of a breakdown of marriage or relationship, contact Pushor Mitchell Lawyers.