23:42  |  10 December 11
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Chamber of Debate

FAMILY - marriage contract

It is proposed that single females/males contract with each other to perform services such as those listed below, as considered appropriate by the contracting couple.

(1) friend
(2) house-mate
(3) sex partner
(4) spouse
(5) civil partner
(6) business partner
(7) housekeeper
(8) butler
(9) companion
(10) nanny
(11) cook
(12) provider
(13) protector
(14) DIY expert
(15) co-parent

Its terms will be treated as terms of a contract. Breach of these terms will result in damages being payable. Damages incurred may be set off against the divorce settlement, unless waived.

An Impartial Friend to The Couple will be appointed by mutual consent.

Both parties are advised to consult this Impartial Friend should the need arise.

The Impartial Friend to the Couple becomes The Impartial Friend to the Family once there is offspring.

The role of this Impartial Friend of the Family is to

(a) support the integrity of family life

(b) adjudicate on marital disputes

(c) take into account the best interests of any child of the marriage in the context of living with both its parents unless it can be proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that more psychological and physical harm would come to the child through living with both its parents than if the couple parted

(d) provide a history of the marriage as a character witness should they be called upon to do so in the event of a divorce

The idea is that marriage will no longer be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and soberly! If this makes partnerships to bring up children more likely to endure, then family life will be reinforced, lowering the crime rate and raising civic virtue.

It IS intended to take the distraction of romance out of the very serious business of bringing up children together - the TRUE purpose of marriage.

Childless unions are able to end without societal consequences, but those with offspring ought to be compelled to consider the best interests of their child and their impaired ability to parent once no longer living together as husband and wife.

Spouses who accuse the other of child abuse, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and similar crimes will be required to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

Marriage was never intended as a way of saying "I love you (until I no longer love you)." We ignore this fact at our peril.
Vote: Should marriage be treated like a business contract to make it more enduring?

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Members Comments

Andromeda 20-May-2008 7:28
To answer Jeffrey Marshall's question, the problem is family breakdown which Justice Coleridge recently described as 'a "cancer" behind amost every evil affecting society'. It explains the high crime rate, lower standards of behaviour and education.

The idea is not so much to force people to marry, but to make them more likely to stay together once they have children.

I did not forget to list "servant" because "butler", "nanny", "cook", "housekeeper" falls under this category.

I was also suggesting that people who get most of these roles in one person are more fortunate than those who just get "sex partner" and not much else.

Interesting that many settle for just this when marrying and then wonder why they lose interest in each other after a brief period of cohabitation.

Godparents these days are just wealthy friends appointed by poorer ones to give the child birthday presents and the occasional treat. The traditional role was also to see that the child grows up as Christian should its parents no longer be able to perform this role. Since most people are barely Christian these days, even those who go to Church, I rather think the child is more likely to go into care than be taken under the wing of godparent, who is often not a practising Christian either.

The current marriage contract is, in case you haven't noticed, unfair. If you wanted to enter into a business contract for sex and co-parenting, you would probably prefer one under which your ex-wife will NOT be getting roughly half of what you have, plus your pension, with the ability to deny you contact with your children with impunity, when she decides she would rather live under her own roof than under yours, which you will be providing for her through maintenance.

If you wanted a fair business contract, you would want one that penalises the party that fails to perform what he or she contract to do, rather than one which divides matrimonial property in half however badly a party has behaved.


jeffreymarshall 20-May-2008 1:15
(1) The Impartial Friend used to be called a godparent, at least as far as the child’s upbringing was concerned. (2) Marriage is surely already a form of business contract insofar as the financial consequences of divorce settlements tend to be life-altering. (3) Many of the ‘services’ in the list might be better performed by professionals in any case – & you forgot to list ‘servant’ by the way. (4) Surely most people are aware – as they have always been aware – that marriage involves rather more than just passing romantic attachment. (5) Apparently fewer people are getting married than ever. So where is the problem? Maybe fewer means better. And if people don’t want to marry – and no longer seem to need to marry – why force them? (6) Treating marriage even more like a business contract than it is already is hardly likely to make it more popular.
pearmtn 31-Oct-2007 19:25
Marriage, if desired, should be a matter of the heart; any other reason is insulting
All comments are subject to approval.

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