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Guess what’s happening today in Mexico? Could it be possible that there just might be an answer for the high cost of divorce? Or, just maybe, the answer for reducing the divorce rate is to give newlyweds a learner’s permit. Give them two years to find out if they were really made for each other, and if it doesn’t work out, let them walk away without having to get divorced.

Are you shaking your head yet? Well, CBC reported September 30th that Mexico is looking at giving people an exit strategy right up front – when they get married – so they can avoid the hassle and exorbitant cost of going back to court later. Legislators proposed a reform that let people decide the length of their commitment after a two year minimum period rather than going for a full lifetime together.

How would it work? When the two year period is finished, if the relationship is unstable or acrimonious, the marriage contract simply ends.

Of course this is driving the Catholics absolutely crazy. A spokesperson for the Mexican Archdiocese reportedly called it immoral and irresponsible. But is it?

If one considers that over 50% of all matrimonial unions fail, that is, divorce or a legal separation is predictable for most modern families, and that an adversarial family court system is likewise failing to sort out the disagreements at a reasonable cost and in a timely fashion – and that many separated families are financially ruined by the $500.00 per hour legal fees, there is a measure of wisdom in the Mexican soup.

It takes the bed buffalo out of the closet for enamoured and highly emotional couples to look at and realize very little in today’s world is forever. Talking about this somewhat ugly possibility promotes a more focused approach at predicting the future, one that would actually force people to take a hard look at the money, the property, the debt, the children, the retirement plan and perhaps encourage people to be a little more careful than just hoping for the best. This, in my view, might actually help people expand the length of their relationships because money issues are currently the leading cause for marital breakdown.

It might further be prudent to examine the issues of child custody and the division of property under friendly circumstances – when people are not angry or hostile. This could pave the way to a new era in collaborative divorce and separation for those marriages and matrimonial unions that don’t make it to the finish line.

No doubt about it. This is radical thinking. But, it finally gives something new to families – something that just might work.

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