Wedding Rings
To have and to hold - for at least two years. Image: Flickr / firemedic58 / CC-BY-SA

Mexico City is often considered one of the most liberal areas in generally conservative Mexico. Now, Mexico City lawmakers are proposing two-year marriage licenses as a way to cut down on clogged courts and messy divorces.

Marriage in Mexico

In Mexico, more than 50 percent of all marriages end in a divorce, most within the first two years. Divorce in Mexico varies according to state and jurisdiction, but generally a court proceeding must be carried out in order to dissolve the marriage. Marriage in Mexico is recognized only civilly, and religious ceremonies carry no weight, legally.

The proposal of two-year marriage licenses

The City Assembly of Mexico City has proposed a new type of marriage license. The license would be valid for only two years and would contain within the marriage license the outlines of how the marriage would be dissolved at the end of two years if the parties agree to end the marriage. In essence, all marriage licenses within Mexico City would contain a built-in prenuptial agreement. Parties to the marriage would be able to determine the length of the commitment, but the minimum length would be two years. At the end of that time period, the couple would be able to extend the license for whatever length they desire.

Pushback on two-year marriage licenses

Conservative groups within both Mexico city and Mexico have lambasted this suggestion of a two-year marriage license. Many conservative groups are still stinging from Mexico City’s move to legalize same-sex unions, which is still very controversial within the largely Roman Catholic country.

Historical tradition of starter marriage

The commitment of marriage has not always been an in-perpetuity legal commitment. In historical Europe, the tradition of handfasting was one that established “starter marriages” of the type that Mexico City is proposing. Handfasting would, depending on the historical period, create a one-year commitment that both parties could walk away from at the end of that year or year and a day.


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Buenos Aires Herald:

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