A new bill proposed by Mexico City legislators would require all couples to sign a prenuptial agreement, which includes how to handle child custody and property in case of divorce, a renewable marriage contract with the ability to specify the length of the marriage (up to 99 years or “till death do us part”), deciding upon which religion the children, if any, will be raised with, and a requirement to take classes about the practical aspects of marriage before walking down the isle.
Carlos Torres, spokesman for legislator Lizbeth Rosas, a sponsor of the bill, said there were about 40 divorces for every 100 marriages in 2009-10, according to recent figures from Mexico City marriage registries. Part of their goal is to reduce the long, nasty divorce proceedings that are clogging the capital districts courts. “We are looking for solutions to problems that are seen every day in family courts in which there is emotional blackmail, or the children are used as pawns,” Torres said.
The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. “The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” said Leonel Luna, a Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill. “You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.”
Bravo! I hope the bill passes and the legislators in the USA will see the benefits.
Of course, the Roman Catholic Church is outraged by the bill. Requiring couples to put an expiration date on wedding vows is “totally absurd,” said the Rev. Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Catholic archdiocese in Mexico City. “This is a proposal made by people who do not understand the nature of marriage,” Valdemar said. “It is not a commercial contract; it is a contract between two people for a life project, and the creation of a family.”
The Rev. Valdemar seems to feel preserving the fantasies and romantic illusions of marriage is more important than fixing the problems with practical solutions. He’s also forgetting that marriage was originally not about love or vows, but land rights and money, until religion hijacked it. In my opinion, the sponsors of this bill do understand the nature of marriage because they have taken an honest look at the facts that led them to propose it in the first place. And it is a commercial contract because a divorce is all about dividing the assets.
It’s time to wake up and face the cold, hard truths about marriage and divorce, before getting married. This bill is a wonderful step in the right direction.
Copyright © 2011 Stephen Petullo [subscribe2]