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Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

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View Poll Results: Would You Suport Fixed-Term Marriage Contracts?
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Maybe
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8.89%
Marriage, I'm never getting married
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Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Old 04-24-09, 08:10 AM
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Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/s...-23272,00.html

Marry with a fixed-term contract, not for 'til death do us part

Helen Goltz

April 24, 2009 12:00am

ACCORDING to the Australian Bureau of Statistics it appears that lifelong marriages are becoming a thing of the past. Few marry for life any more.

Thirty-two per cent of divorces involved separation within the first five years of marriage, and 22 per cent within five to nine years of marriage.

We have fixed term-contracts for the buying of property, cars and insurance, but there is only one contract available for marriage and it is for life. Is it time to consider introducing fixed-term marriage contracts?

The fixed-term contract is not meant to be a "quick fix" or an "easy out".

It would allow for the celebration of the renewal of vows after a five-year or 10-year term and encourage partners to work towards maintaining a good relationship in effect, it opens communication akin to a marriage performance review.

Or it would allow for the marriage to be dissolved by completing an acceptable contract term, without the shame and stigma associated with the failure of a marriage.

So why bother getting married at all? Because inherently we want to believe that we are making a commitment for life. Surely no one enters a marriage with a view to "give it a shot".

We stand in front of friends, family, even God and promise "until death do us part" and, at the time, we believe it. This only adds to the sense of failure when we can't deliver this promise.

It's a simple process: the standard certificate of marriage becomes a five-year contract. The marriage celebrant would continue to retain a copy for their records; forward the certificate to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the registration of the marriage; and provide the marrying couple with a copy.

The marriage licence would clearly state the start and dissolution date for the five-year term.

The marriage contract dissolves if the parties do not "apply again". This eliminates the stress of dissolving the marriage by having to reopen wounds one year later, file papers together and be issued divorce papers.

The celebration is in the renewing what better excuse for a party and family gathering?

The marrying couple are responsible for monitoring the date of renewal, signing the renewal form, having it witnessed by a Justice of the Peace and returning the form to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Perhaps when a couple completes a 10-year marriage term (two five-year consecutive contracts), they could opt to undertake an "eternity" contract.

And what about the children? Divorces are happening irrespective of the family unit. The proportion of divorces involving children was 49.3 per cent in 2007 (ABS). Is a fixed-term marriage contract likely to increase this statistic? Are parents more likely to stay together for the children if they have a traditional marriage licence?

According to Families in Australia: 2008 (released by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet), marriage bears a less direct relationship to having children.

By 2026, couples without children are projected by the ABS to be the most common type of family in Australia (44 per cent of all families).

We are a society that has adapted to change: divorce, work contracts, the internet, SMS text, email, digital television, water restrictions and much more.

Eventually a generation may only know of one type of marriage contract: fixed-term.

Helen Goltz, a writer and marketing consultant, has written a discussion paper on fixed-term marriage contracts.
I think this would be a good idea, most marriages fail now anyway. At least this woman is thinking outside the box. Would you be in favor of this idea?
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Old 04-24-09, 08:14 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

i've been saying this for years but most people think i'm a cynic
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Old 04-24-09, 08:16 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

My first reaction is, No.

People don't seem to be taking the concept of marriage seriously as it is. If you make it a short term thing to start with, it'll just get worse.

People can just live together, if they don't want to make a serious commitment.
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Old 04-24-09, 08:25 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
My first reaction is, No.

People don't seem to be taking the concept of marriage seriously as it is. If you make it a short term thing to start with, it'll just get worse.

People can just live together, if they don't want to make a serious commitment.
This.
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Old 04-24-09, 08:33 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

What problem is this a solution to?

The marrying couple are responsible for monitoring the date of renewal, signing the renewal form, having it witnessed by a Justice of the Peace and returning the form to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
I wonder if this will all be free?
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Old 04-24-09, 08:37 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
My first reaction is, No.

People don't seem to be taking the concept of marriage seriously as it is. If you make it a short term thing to start with, it'll just get worse.

People can just live together, if they don't want to make a serious commitment.

i've read that in pre-civilization days most marriages were temporary. the idea of lifelong marriage is very recent in human history
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Old 04-24-09, 08:52 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

In pre-civilization days, a "marriage" was not something recognized by the State, and by your insurance company. We have two different things now. People who have sex and live together, and people who have officially merged their resources.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:40 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Meh. Marry who you like, for as long as you like. Pick up a floozy at a bar in Las Vegas, and marry her five minutes later at the "Drive Thru Chapel". It's all good, it's all legal!

Except, of course, if you're a same-sex couple whose been together for years and raised kids together. We can't have you getting married BECAUSE THAT WOULD VIOLATE THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-24-09, 09:47 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Meh. Marry who you like, for as long as you like. Pick up a floozy at a bar in Las Vegas, and marry her five minutes later at the "Drive Thru Chapel". It's all good, it's all legal!

Except, of course, if you're a same-sex couple whose been together for years and raised kids together. We can't have you getting married BECAUSE THAT WOULD VIOLATE THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!

I completely agr - wait, are you being sarcastic?
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Old 04-24-09, 01:28 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

With divorce rate as high as ever, it's clear most of everybody don't take the vow they make seriously. So with that said, why bother changing the vow from "marry for life" to "oh I don't know, I'll marry you for five years." Most marriage ends faster within five years anyway, what difference does it really make by changing few words in the otherwise meaningless vow people take now these days.
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Old 04-24-09, 02:01 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

I think this would be worth it, if just for the celebrity/athlete press conferences.

"Charles Woodson has decided not to re-sign for another 5 years with his wife, and will opt to become a free agent. Charles Woodson has no further comments right now." - Charles Woodson
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Old 04-24-09, 02:06 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

If you take any religious aspect out of this, I have absolutely no problem with it. Problem is, so many people regard marriage as a religious thing, when to many it's purely a civil arrangement. But the religious folks want to pretend that they hold some kind of special claim on the concept, which is silly.
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Old 04-24-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

People live too long. Marriage for life is great if you live until 30, but I can't stare at the same vagina for 50 years.
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Old 04-24-09, 04:23 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Separating is the easy part. Dealing with all the details is where it gets complex.

How does the contract address division of assets? Pre-marital assets? Community assets? Children are mentioned but how they are handled at the end of the contract is not.

These contracts will invariably end up before a judge. We could even give it a name: Divorce.
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Old 04-24-09, 04:31 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Stupid. You think that if things really suck they are going to wait out the next 4 years of the contract? What the hell is the difference there? Let those who suck at marriage come to terms with it and continue on as they are. There's no reason to do this. Just get your divorce.
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Old 04-24-09, 04:50 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

The real use for a State recognized marriage is to define clear lines of inheritance and financial responsibility. That's all a marriage license amounts to. It has nothing to do with sexual relations. (I know, sexual relations lead to the children who inherit, and are a financial responsibility, but the sex itself is not an issue)

Matrimony, on the other hand, is a religious ceremony that has a lot to do with sexual relations. It is about making it moral to have sex.

Many people get these two things mixed up.

The only reason I can see for proposing a limited term marriage license is so that people who think a marriage license makes it moral for them to have sex can shack up with a clear conscience.

I don't see the sense in saying, "I declare you to be my legal heir and next of kin...for five years. After that, we'll see." or "I swear to take financial responsibility for you, and any children we bear... for five years."

It's silly.
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Old 04-25-09, 11:09 AM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
but I can't stare at the same vagina for 50 years.
It's been a while since I had a Human Sexuality class, but I think you're doing it wrong.
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Old 04-25-09, 12:31 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

I voted No. If you know your marriage won't last why get married in the first place?
These days you can do everything you need to do without being married.
So why get married if you already know it will only last a few years?
It makes no sense. But a lot of things these days don't make any sense.
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Old 04-25-09, 12:38 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

I think the idea that someone has to be contractually bound to be with you for life is ridiculous, and unnecessary if the parties involved truly love each other.
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Old 04-25-09, 12:45 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

I Voted NO....Keep the lawyers away !
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Old 04-25-09, 01:23 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

What, no Ming the Merciless option?


Do you, Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe, take this Earthling Dale Arden, to be your Empress of the Hour?
Of the hour, yes.
Do you promise to use her as you will?
Certainly!
Not to blast her into space? Uh, until such time as you grow weary of her.
I do.
I do NOT!
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Old 04-25-09, 01:40 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
If you take any religious aspect out of this, I have absolutely no problem with it. Problem is, so many people regard marriage as a religious thing, when to many it's purely a civil arrangement. But the religious folks want to pretend that they hold some kind of special claim on the concept, which is silly.
Those people can still get married in church, promise "Until death do us part" and renew the civil contract every five years. But why should the non-religious be forced to put up with things that come from the religious side of marriage when they're only interested in the civil?
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Old 04-25-09, 01:49 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
My first reaction is, No.

People don't seem to be taking the concept of marriage seriously as it is. If you make it a short term thing to start with, it'll just get worse.

People can just live together, if they don't want to make a serious commitment.
But what if they want the legal benefits of marriage but realize they probably won't be with the same partner for the rest of their life? Why should the government dictate that marriage contracts have to be "until death do us part" instead of providing people with other options?
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Old 04-26-09, 03:37 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

With an option to renew?

This reminds me of the cartoon depicting a bride and groom at the alter and the groom tells the minister "Could you change 'til death do us part to time served + 10 years?"
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Old 04-26-09, 04:27 PM
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Re: Marriage For Life? Not Anymore, Just Sign a 5 Year Contract

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
Those people can still get married in church, promise "Until death do us part" and renew the civil contract every five years. But why should the non-religious be forced to put up with things that come from the religious side of marriage when they're only interested in the civil?
I agree. That's exactly what I was saying, though not very well.
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