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Not Ready for 'Till Death Do You Part'? Mexico Considering 2-Year Marriage 'Contracts


"if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends."

If you're not quite ready for the idea of committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life, you might want to consider a move to Mexico City. Leftist lawmakers there are hoping to reform the civil code to loosen the "permanent" idea of tying the knot -- with temporary marriage licenses.

The idea is to help newlyweds avoid messy divorces if they decide their marriage isn't working. Instead of signing on for a lifetime together, couples could decide the length of their commitment, with the minimum contract being two years. If the couple was still happy after their allotted time together, they could simply renew the license.

"The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends," Assemblyman Leonel Luna, the co-author of the proposed bill, told Reuters.

The contracts would contain provisions for how to handle children and property in the event of a split so "you wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce," he said.

According to Reuters, about half of Mexico City marriages end in divorce, usually within the first two years.

Luna is a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which holds the most seats in the 66-member body. He said the proposal is gaining support and he expects a vote by the end of the year.

Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage in late 2009, the first Latin American city to do so.

The Catholic Church strongly criticized the proposed change. Mexico is the country with the world's second-largest Catholic population, after Brazil.

"This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage," said Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese. "It's another one of these electoral theatrics the assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral."

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