Paul Rampell is a lawyer in Palm Beach who specializes in estate planning wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post about the possibility of WedLeases over marriage.
Marriage is a legal partnership that is supposed to last a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Rampell felt that generally speaking, that is too long time for any partnership. Our behavior dictates that 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.
So we should 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 divorces is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.
So like In real estate, why don’t we have the option for shorter term marriages. For example, since we have become accustomed to prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, why not a marital lease to help minimize the high divorce rate.
Here are 5 reasons why a WedLease will still leave you empty.
- WEdLease contract won’t stop the pain. – If there are two people involved in marriage, there is bound to be some pain at some point, whether it be the first year of marriage or in 20 years. The benefit of marriage, is to hunker down and work through it.
- Limits on time and increase the distance. If you aren’t really vested in the marriage, you will bide your time until the WedLease ends. How will you do that by putting as much distance between your lease spouse as possible. In a marriage, it is your responsibility to work hard every day to keep it fresh.
- No opportunity to repair the damage. Even after the WedLease has ended due to a bad 5 years, you will still pay for the damage to the other partner. It’s always great to hear when couples continue to thrive in a marriage even after they had a serious setback.
- You are constantly keeping score. When you enter into a WedLease agreement, you will continuously be keeping score. So if you decide to renew for another 5 years, you, or your partner will make sure you get what you deserve as a result of each and every misstep by the other. Marriage is supposed to be about partnership. Teamwork! When you win, your partner wins.
- You are constantly accommodating and not growing! When you enter into a marriage, it’s with another human being. With any team, you have to work together awhile before you start to kick in on all cylinders. It’s very empowering when you see your partner grow for the better and you feel you had a part in that. In a WedLease, you would have to constantly accomodate the other partner until you feel comfortable.
Would you support a WedLease? What terms would be crucial for its success?