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The intention of decreasing divorces may seem like a complex issue to tackle, but Mexico City has an interesting modification to this problem which is making marriages both temporary and contemporary. Law makers have proposed a new reform that permits couples to be married for a certain amount of time; two years being the minimum.
This will allow couples the right to decide to stay in their marriage and renew the license at the end of the period, or simply call it quits. The new temporary marriage contract was established by leftist members in the city’s assembly in hopes of avoiding the long process currently involved in divorces and also to decrease the growing number of divorces throughout the country.
According to sources, eight out of ten marriages end in a divorce in Mexico City and within the first two years almost half of the couples are divorced. Many members that support the reform think that two years is an appropriate amount of time to know if two people want to be together or if they are ready to move on.
Leonel Luna, the co-author of the bill, explained, “When the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends. He also said, “You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.” Temporary marriages as an alternative to divorce have raised questions concerning its potential of deteriorating the institution of marriage.
Hugo Valdemar, a representative of the Mexican archdiocese, commented on the new reform stating, “This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage.” He also includes, “It’s another one of these electoral theatrics the assembly tends to do that are irresponsible and immoral.” The recent legalization of gay marriage has been controversial for the country as well.
Temporary marriages may seem like an innovative solution being introduced in Mexico, but it is not the first country to adopt such a plan. In Iran, men and women can partake in temporary marriages that last from a few hours to several years. The law was established to avoid extramarital sex, which is illegal in the country and is a solution that does not violate Islamic law.
The Interior Minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, said “We have to find a solution to meet the sexual desire of the youth who have no possibility of marriage.” Temporary marriages in Iran allow men who are married to have another marriage on the side that is temporary. This has raised controversy in Iran, suggesting that women in this union are similar to prostitutes through temporary marriages contracts.
Women get married for a few hours and receive some sort of dowry or money, do their deed, and then end the marriage. How effective will this reform be in Mexico City? With Mexico being the second largest Catholic country in the world, the churches could have significant impact in making sure people do not participate in them.
Other aspects such as who receives custody in the event of children or belongings are questions that still need to be addressed in developing the license. “Until death do us part” may no longer be a phrase many Mexico City citizens will use if they participate in temporary marriages, but it may after all be the solution to solving the high divorce rates.