In the 60’s a couple would never even think of living together without first becoming married. Today more and more couples are choosing to have trial marriages by living together for a period of time before tying the knot-if ever.
Look at Prince William, even he currently lived with with Kate long before she became his princess, “legally”!
The reasons for this change of heart seem to be are sadly financial and social. Many young couples balk at the traditions of their elders but more common is that the financial part of being married does not seem at first glance to lend itself to choosing marriage as a wise alternative to living together.
In pagan marriages, this was called “hand fasting” and was intended for a year and a day. If everything works out, they could “re-up” their commitments.
If it doesn’t, they each could leave the relationship with whatever material possessions they came into it with, no harm, and no foul. This tradition of announcing couple-ship has been around much longer than traditional, legal, marriages where once you tie the knot, half of everything you own-including your debts-belong to the other person.
Now a legislator in Mexico City wants to give people “hand fasting” option.
Leonel Luna from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution wants to make it easier for couples to divorce if things don’t work out the way they hoped in the first two years after tying the knot.
The bill is at the center of a controversy about family values and the definition of marriage in Mexico City. But Luna, who introduced the bill at Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly last week, says his measure is simply a reflection of reality.
“Almost 50% of couples in Mexico City end up in divorce,” Luna says. “What we’re trying to do is acknowledging reality and creating a mechanism that will allow couples to end their marriage without going through the additional pain and suffering of a legal battle.”
Under Luna’s bill, couples would sign a marriage contract that would last two years. Once that term was over, the couple would have the option to renew. The contract would specify if property is owned by both spouses or separately. It would also state who would get custody of the children, if any, and how benefits would be distributed.
The US statistics are similar…perhaps we should look into the bill…maybe in California at least.