Leftist lawmakers in Mexico proposed this week that the country issue a new kind of marriage license – one that is only valid for two years.
"The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends," Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman from the Party of the Democratic Revolution who co-authored the bill, told Reuters. "You wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce.”
The marriage contracts would include detailed provisions on how children and property would be divided up if the marriage ended at the two-year mark, Reuters reports.
"Two years is the minimum amount of time it takes to know and appreciate what life is like as a couple," Lizbeth Rosas, another supporter of the proposed legislation in the Party of the Democratic Revolution, told BBC Mundo in Spanish, according to the CBC. "If you renew, that means you have an understanding with your partner, and that you are clear on the rules of the relationship."
If a marriage fell apart before two years, the couple would have to go through regular divorce proceedings, the CBC reports.
Conservative groups have reacted with dismay. "At first I thought it was a hoax," Consuelo Mendoza, of the national union of parents, told BBC Mundo in Spanish. "These initiatives create a culture of disposability within important societal issues."
The Catholic Church also criticized the proposed change. "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."
The leftists control the most seats in Mexico’s 66-member chamber, and Luna told Reuters that the proposed law is gaining support. A vote is expected by the end of this year.