Two year marriages in Mexico

Mexico City is proposing some pretty awesome ideas about marriage contracts:

Mexico City lawmakers want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by giving them an easy exit strategy: temporary marriage licenses.

Leftists in the city’s assembly — who have already riled conservatives by legalizing gay marriage — proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime.

The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits.

“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, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill.

“You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce,” said Luna, from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which has the most seats in the 66-member chamber.

(I presume there are also other contract lengths available.)

This is a good idea. The primary purpose of marriage is for couples to fulfill whatever meaning they attach to the idea. If they view it as a temporary agreement, then fine. Or, as I think will likely be the case, they view it in pragmatic terms – it’s something they want, but they can’t know if it will work out – then this is the perfect plan.

I’m sure conservatives are going to come up with every Armageddon scenario under the soon-to-be-falling sky, but this just makes sense. Even if it encourages marriages to end more quickly than they would otherwise, the fact that people can move onto a potentially better match without the fear of possibly going through another divorce proceeding, then they won’t need to hesitate because of dreaded, petty legal entanglements. This will lead to more net happiness and that’s a good thing.