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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 09:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I read an interesting article this morning about a proposed change to marriage licensing in Mexico City.  The change would allow couples to select the length of the term of the marriage contract (a minimum of two years) and then allow them to continue to renew as often as desired, but have the choice to simply let the contract expire if they no longer wish to be married, thus avoiding a painful and protracted divorce process.  Conservative groups are opposed, naturally, but it's an interesting proposal (< ha!)  with potentially positive and negatives impacts on marriage for individuals, children and greater society. Good idea? Bad idea? Don't know, but it's an interesting idea for sure.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/mexico-mulls-two-year-marriages-drawing-ire-of-catholic-church/article2185712/

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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 10:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was reading that article too this morning.  As a Mexican-American I have to say this is very interesting given that Mexico as a country is way more conservative than the US based on the high population of people that are Catholic.  It would be interesting to see how this would be received here in the US if something like this was proposed.  Given that 50 percent of marriages in the US end in divorce, I think we should give it a try


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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 11:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That 50% figure is misleading because it represents 50% of all marriages, including 2nd, 3rd etc. marriages, which statistically fail at increasingly greater rates with each new marriage.  About 60% of first marriages last, and the figure jumps to about 70% if the couple is college educated and marry at or beyond about 30 years of age.  (Those stats are from memory and off the top of my head, but it's something very much like that).  There is no doubt the divorce industry is too often a predatory and destructive one, and if all this did was cut the ugliness and lawyers out, it would be a brilliant stroke. But it's such major redefinition of marriage that it could potentially affect just about every dynamic of marriage and family, both to their benefit and to their detriment.  As an aside, if such a huge proportion of marriages in Mexico City end within two years I think Mexico City has a social issue that's a bit bigger than this.  Do you have any insight into that greaserkat?  Is it the influence of the Catholic Church and undue pressure for young people to marry?  Some kind of impractical ideation of marriage that can't live up to reality?  Or a too casual attitude to it?

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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 12:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

greaserkat wrote:

Given that 50 percent of marriages in the US end in divorce, I think we should give it a try

====================

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this.  They're attempting a practical solution, but it does run the risk eroding away the sanctity of marriage, as it may encourage people to have a looser view on what it means to marry someone.

That said, nobody has a monopoly on the ever-evolving definition of marriage.  It isn't the 16th century and the church doesn't control these things anymore.  Marriage can be between two lesbians, and it can also be an open marriage where 16 people in committed relationships have revolving four-way around the worlds once a week.

If this is indeed the catholic church getting their noses in there, then this is a pointless exercise.  They will essentially be shooting themselves in the foot, because it will be that much easier to "defy catholic doctrine" and get a divorce if the couple doesn't work out.  If indoctrinated people stay in their failed marriages, this change in law won't change that.  The only difference is it will be easier (and cheaper) to separate.

So I say they should try it.  The nuclear family shouldn't feel threatened, as they will still be free to practice marriage and traditional family in the way that they're accustomed.  But no doubt, it's a matter of time before conservatives worldwide will want us to hear their opinions.  I've already got my popcorn ready..


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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 13:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

First impressions were that this was a good idea. But surely you should only marry the person you love with all your heart and look forward to spending the rest of your life with? Surely a marriage contract plants a seed of doubt that the person you are marrying is not this person? Which is wrong. Too many people get married now out of convenience, or fear of being alone, or the patter of little unplanned accidents.

If it wasn't for the fact I did marry the person I loved with all my heart and looked forward to spending the rest of my life with and it still went south after 5 years I would have a definite opinion.

I guess 5 years of love is better than a lifetime alone.

(mooghead in 'he is actually human' shock!)

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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 14:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote: That 50% figure is misleading because it represents 50% of all marriages, including 2nd, 3rd etc. marriages, which statistically fail at increasingly greater rates with each new marriage.  About 60% of first marriages last, and the figure jumps to about 70% if the couple is college educated and marry at or beyond about 30 years of age.  (Those stats are from memory and off the top of my head, but it's something very much like that).  There is no doubt the divorce industry is too often a predatory and destructive one, and if all this did was cut the ugliness and lawyers out, it would be a brilliant stroke. But it's such major redefinition of marriage that it could potentially affect just about every dynamic of marriage and family, both to their benefit and to their detriment.  As an aside, if such a huge proportion of marriages in Mexico City end within two years I think Mexico City has a social issue that's a bit bigger than this.  Do you have any insight into that greaserkat?  Is it the influence of the Catholic Church and undue pressure for young people to marry?  Some kind of impractical ideation of marriage that can't live up to reality?  Or a too casual attitude to it? ============================================================================================

These are interesting questions you bring up because I myself am bewildered as to why marriages In Mexico City itself end quickly when Mexico as a whole is really relogious (as a side note, this is why Mexico does not have a death penalty as far as I am aware and from statements made as well by politicians  in that country). 

If you were to ask a Mexican or Mexican-American who are the "worst" kind of people or what kind of people are just plain "assholes" In Mexico, for the most part they will say Chilangos; "Chilangos" are what people from Mexico City are called.  They do have the reputation of being ill manered, obnoxious, rude, and their way of life is different from others that are from different parts of Mexico.  Is this the reason as to why marriages in tha city dont last very long? No, BUT it can be a contributing factor.


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Posted: 30 Sep 11, 14:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote: greaserkat wrote:

Given that 50 percent of marriages in the US end in divorce, I think we should give it a try

====================

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this.  They're attempting a practical solution, but it does run the risk eroding away the sanctity of marriage, as it may encourage people to have a looser view on what it means to marry someone.

That said, nobody has a monopoly on the ever-evolving definition of marriage.  It isn't the 16th century and the church doesn't control these things anymore.  Marriage can be between two lesbians, and it can also be an open marriage where 16 people in committed relationships have revolving four-way around the worlds once a week.

If this is indeed the catholic church getting their noses in there, then this is a pointless exercise.  They will essentially be shooting themselves in the foot, because it will be that much easier to "defy catholic doctrine" and get a divorce if the couple doesn't work out.  If indoctrinated people stay in their failed marriages, this change in law won't change that.  The only difference is it will be easier (and cheaper) to separate.

So I say they should try it.  The nuclear family shouldn't feel threatened, as they will still be free to practice marriage and traditional family in the way that they're accustomed.  But no doubt, it's a matter of time before conservatives worldwide will want us to hear their opinions.  I've already got my popcorn ready.. ===========================================================================================
You are right.  I do agree that this can erode the sanctity of marriage.  Poeple should not go into marriage already thinking how long is it going to last, I at least hope so. 

On another side note, it's funny that I mention that for the most part Mexico is a very religious country.  The older generations are the hardcore religous types like my grandma and even parents that are my parents' age as well; those that were born for example in the early 1900's to the 1970's even.  What's funny about this is that this topic reminded me of how my own personal life growing was quite different than the "average" Mexican family. Both of my parents' parents were hardcore Cathoics, and my grandma from my mom's side still is as she is the only living grandparent I have.  My parent were obviously borught up Catholic and followed the Catholic way of life. However, I'm surprised as to how liberal my parents are now when it comes to religion and their actual views on it.  Mind you, they still are Catholic and go to church here and there but they really don't follow it as you would expect someone their age from Mexico would.  Ive done my first communion but I'm still surprised that Ive gotten away from doing my confirmation given that im 26 years old lol.


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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 02:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This proposed law would apply to civil marriage , not religious marriage. If the state thinks that people are unable to stay in a marriage for longer than two years they should abolish civil marriage. It is ridiculous to cater for every immature citizen who gets married without thinking only to find that it was a big mistake after a few months. If  citizens think they need a civil marriage to live happily with their partners they can pay for the divorce, for heavens sake. After all - in these happy days of freedom and choices marriage is not really needed if someone is not up to it, you can live together unmarried just as well. Children have the same rights no matter if the parents are married or not, so there is no need to make laws for every possible case of bad judgment,


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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 06:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bizarre... i know there is a high divorce rate, but i don't think i'd bother getting married in a two year contract... what's the point?

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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 08:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Personally, while I would never take this up, I don't really have a problem with it. I'm of the view that marriage should be defined by individual citizens, rather than the government, and this is an extension of that.

YourValentine wrote: "If the state thinks that people are unable to stay in a marriage for longer than two years they should abolish civil marriage."

Except many people don't want religious marriages, they only want civil marriages, and to get rid of civil marriage would simply punish the majority when it's only a minority who would take this up.

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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 09:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What a pack of dildos.


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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 13:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Amazon wrote: Personally, while I would never take this up, I don't really have a problem with it. I'm of the view that marriage should be defined by individual citizens, rather than the government, and this is an extension of that.

The whole thing of determining stuff like that on an individual basis is great in theory, but how can it work?  I mean, we think what we think largely because society tells us to -- and the western emphasis and idolisation of individuality and choice highlights this.  Society values individuality, its how society tells us to form our identities.  So I am not sure that it is possible to define a concept like marriage on an individual basis, as we grow up surrounded by our own and other families, and the media, and that is what tells us what a 'family' is.  So if a fixed term contract marriage was introduced, it would be really weird for maybe the next 20 - 30 years, but then it would become 'normal' and would be seen as the definition of marriage, the same as now assume marriage is aiming to be for life.

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Posted: 01 Oct 11, 15:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Which brings us back to my original point - that the definition of marriage is ever-evolving.

Even 50 years ago, the life of the average person was much more simple.  It was easy to spend a lifetime with someone because your values and life goals didn't change much, or at all.  Nowadays there aren't too many people I know in their 20s and 30s who think they'd be compatible with one person for the rest of their lives.

A lot of people get divorced and are completely civil (pun not intended) about it.  They've simply arrived at different places in life and want to go their separate ways with no hard feelings.  Maybe there shouldn't be a horribly long process to move on with your life.  But if divorce goes on a case by case basis like this, we may be heading down a slippery slope, legally speaking..


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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 03:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I wonder if these contracts will include a sanity clause?


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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 10:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

paulosham wrote: I wonder if these contracts will include a sanity clause?

rofl

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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 13:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote: It is ridiculous to cater for every immature citizen who gets married without thinking only to find that it was a big mistake after a few months. If  citizens think they need a civil marriage to live happily with their partners they can pay for the divorce, for heavens sake. After all - in these happy days of freedom and choices marriage is not really needed if someone is not up to it, you can live together unmarried just as well. Children have the same rights no matter if the parents are married or not, so there is no need to make laws for every possible case of bad judgment,
======================================

It would have been interesting to see the public response if the Reuters article that made the rounds focused less on the minimum contract term and the Catholic Church, only because both of those elements provoke reactions that are easy to anticipate.  It was the underlying shift of expectations that I found deeply thought provoking.  Just what would happen if we as a culture stopped thinking of marriage as something that should be for life, and started to think of it as something that could be for life if and only if couples continued to actively and freely choose it throughout their lives in the best interests of all?  When you consider that in the most optimal circumstances for selecting a mate fully a third of marriages still fail, and that some not insignificant portion of the ones that stay intact obscure people suffering in soul crushing boredom and loneliness, this is not just an issue for the fickle or those with bad judgement, but something much more like half the married population. 

What is tough to fully anticipate is what would change, and what wouldn't.  I think people would still choose to marry for the same reasons and with the same hopes and intentions.  As Mooghead illustrated, people in the vast majority marry thinking they will be spending the rest of their lives with the person they can't imagine living without, as committed and content as the day of the ceremony.  With at least half destined to be wrong, there is a definite appeal to the idea of anything that reshapes the experience of divorce from something that is so often absolutely shattering.  Some elements of that relating to a sense of failure and shame and loss of identify come almost wholly from social and familial expectations and the definition of a successful marriage as one that lasts forever rather than one that is happy and productive for it's duration. As you point out, people don't have to marry, but they do.  People still want the symbolism, emotional security and social benefits of being somebody's husband or wife and so should not expect never to lose anything in what is essentially a gamble of your future happiness to have these things, but I still think as a culture we can do better with all of this somehow.   If it became socially normalized for families to be reshaped rather than 'broken', that would save an awful lot of anguish for an awful lot of people.

All that said, it is easy to imagine the potentially negative impacts of such a system, and further positive ones too, but there must be some sweet spot that avoids a disposable culture and preserves the ideals of love and commitment and supports making it through in every way, but falls short of condemning people to living the one life they have unhappy and unfulfilled.

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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 13:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote:

If this is indeed the catholic church getting their noses in there, then this is a pointless exercise.  They will essentially be shooting themselves in the foot, because it will be that much easier to "defy catholic doctrine" and get a divorce if the couple doesn't work out.  If indoctrinated people stay in their failed marriages, this change in law won't change that.  The only difference is it will be easier (and cheaper) to separate.
==============================

Kind of a non issue, as the Catholic Church hands out annulments like Halloween candy anyway.  :)

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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 14:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ah yes, good ol' catholic annulments.  But here's one thing I didn't know - one of the grounds for nullity is ..

"The intention, when marrying, to never have children"

Wow .. these people are just so archaic and irrelevant.


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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 17:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wikipedia refers to that as canon 1101.2 which formally reads "If, however, either or both of the parties should by a positive act of will exclude marriage itself or any essential element of marriage or any essential property, such party contracts invalidly."  It's paraphrased also as "Willful exclusion of children: You or your spouse married intending, either explicitly or implicitly, to deny the other's right to sexual acts open to procreation."   Refusal of intercourse/refusal to have children or misrepresenting your ability to have children before marriage are also grounds for civil annulments, typically under fraud or extreme cruelty umbrellas.  So if your beef is a religious definition of the purpose of marriage that includes procreation, fine, but you'll have to be annoyed with others besides the Catholic Church.   If your beef is that the Catholic Church has exclusive domain on granting annulments for willfully denying their spouse children, you're simply mistaken.

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Posted: 02 Oct 11, 19:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A fairly recent law has introduced here what's called by people "administrative divorce" - that is, the possibility of getting a divorce before a notary public, without having to hire lawyers and stand in front of a judge at the local court. It's cheaper and way faster, but it's only possible when both people want the divorce and there's no dispute whatsoever over assets or custody. 

I'd welcome such fixed lenght marriage contract if it helped decreasing the number of cases brought before the courts. The way things are here nowadays, it's too much for the judicial system to handle. So with that purely utilitarian goal in mind, I'd greet a law introducing this kind of divorce, but I admit I haven't thought it through and that the consequences could be mainly negative.


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