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Solution to Marriage? ...wedleases?


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#1 concert andy

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:02 PM

A high divorce rate means it’s time to try ‘wedleases’  

 

Paul Rampell is a lawyer in Palm Beach who specializes in estate planning. He is the author of “Dictionary of Basic Estate Planning Terms.”

 

We all know that far too many marriages end in divorce, yet this institution does not adapt. Indeed, most Americans today want to expand conventional marriage to include same-sex couples.

 

So why is there no effort to improve the legal structure of marriage, when it shows itself to be deficient?

 

Marriage is a legal partnership that lasts a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Generally speaking, that is a long time for any partnership. People, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction.
 
In real estate, one may own a life estate in a piece of property. This is comparable to the term of a marriage — a lifetime. And in real estate, one may hold possession of property for shorter terms through a lease.
 
Why don’t we borrow from real estate and create a marital lease? Instead of wedlock, a “wedlease.”
 
Here’s how a marital lease could work: Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.
 
A marital lease could describe the property of the spouses in detail, so separate ownership is clear. If a couple wishes to buy something together, or share ownership, they can keep a schedule of these items and decide as they go along how these would be disposed of in the event of a partner’s death or if they do not renew their wedlease. Landlords and tenants have proved the effectiveness of making clear their separate property and its disposition at the end of property leases.
 
If the couple has a child, there could be an option to have the lease automatically continue until the child reaches the age of majority. Of course, relationships change with family additions and an extended term may not be feasible. But considering the number of children born out of wedlock these days, would it not be better for parents to at least commit to a wedlease, even if it doesn’t last a lifetime?
 
A wedlease could also imitate a real-estate lease through the use of security deposits. Each spouse could deposit a sum of money with an independent third party to ensure compliance with the wedlease. A further step could be to authorize the third party to arbitrate disputes between the spouses.
 
Our society has become comfortable with premarital and postnuptial contracts. The marital lease would be similar, except that it addresses the reality that the marital relationship between two people often does not last a lifetime.
 
When a college noticed that students did not use sidewalks around a courtyard but cut across the lawn for efficiency, administrators decided to move the sidewalks rather than continuing to post signs to “Keep off the grass” that people ignored. Similarly, why doesn’t society make the legal structure of marriage more congruent to our behavior? A wedlease may be a practical improvement to an institution whose success, today, is something of a coin toss.

 

 



#2 hoagie

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:25 PM

Once you eliminate the "lifetime" commitment from marriage, what is the point?  Why even bother, is my answer to this.

 

Just more evidence that marriage should probably be discarded altogether....



#3 Jabadoodle

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:34 PM

We already have that. It's called divorce.

 



#4 Jabadoodle

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:36 PM


Now, if some creative lawyer wants to chart the way forward for Wed-right-of-ways...that could be interesting.



#5 concert andy

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:34 PM

Once you eliminate the "lifetime" commitment from marriage, what is the point?  Why even bother, is my answer to this.

 

Just more evidence that marriage should probably be discarded altogether....

 

What about the fact that many (half is the stat we all know) end in divorce.  Well I did a little research and ...

 

 

Stat 1:

The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage

50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

 

Stat 2:

According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:
  • The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
  • The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
  • The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

 

Source for both:  http://www.divorcerate.org/

 

 

If almost half the people are getting divorced, then almost half of these married folks aren't taking the "lifetime" part of their vow seriously either.



#6 Tim the Beek

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

Once you eliminate the "lifetime" commitment from marriage, what is the point?  Why even bother, is my answer to this.

 

Just more evidence that marriage should probably be discarded altogether....


You want to discard people's ability to enter into a contract?



#7 Tim the Beek

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:42 PM

As to the original post, some of the Pagan folks kinda had this figured out a long time ago...1 year trial marriage, after which they could go their separate ways, or make things permanenter.



#8 jnjn

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:22 PM

the reason for the high divorce rate (imo) is that many people get married for the wrong reasons and/or have this preconceived notion that things will remain all peaches and cream like when they first got married....forgetting that all sorts of things can change over their lifetime & that a marriage (even the best of them) take work & compromise.

 

of course sometimes things just don't work out regardless & couples have to divorce, but nearly half of all married couple?  that's crazy.



#9 Spidergawd

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 04:22 PM

We already have that. It's called divorce.

 

 

Also, a prenup. 



#10 In A Silent Way

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 04:22 PM

Why buy the cow when you can lease it?



#11 Joker

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 04:50 PM

This could wreak havoc on the dowry system    :panic: