The Lookout

Mexican lawmakers propose two-year marriage contracts

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

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Women in Mexico City wait for the feast day mass of "marriage saint" Saint Anthony. (AP)

Mexico City lawmakers are trying to overhaul the city's marriage laws so that newlyweds are only bound to each other for a trial period of two years before they commit to a lifetime together, the Mexican newspaper Excelsior reports.

The law will also require couples to attend talks on how to resolve conflicts and how to divide custody of their kids in case they split prior to signing their marriage contracts. The contract would also serve as a sort of mandatory pre-nup, since it would lay out who owns what property and how couples would divide it in the event of divorce.

According to Reuters, the Catholic Church is firmly against the plan.

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

City lawmakers legalized gay marriage last year.

Lizbeth Rosas, one of the sponsors of the bills and a member of the city's ruling liberal party, tells El Universal that the bill confronts the high rate of divorce in Mexico City, where eight out of 10 couples in Mexico City end up on the skids. She says she thinks the measure will help people avoid the "tortuous and bureaucratic" process--not to mention hefty court fees.

"I know it's controversial but it seeks to support and strengthen family bonds," she said.

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