marriage contracts
Love + Sex, Popular Stuff, Relationships

Should marriage have an end date?

Carla McConnell by Carla McConnell
December 1st, 2016
marriage contracts

Sometimes as much as you may want a relationship to work, it doesn’t. I know this because I’ve been there. I separated from the father of my children two and half years ago after we had tried everything. I didn’t go into the relationship thinking we’ll have some babies and see what happens, I really thought it would last but we just couldn’t make it work.

I’m not alone, I have lots of single friends who are co-parenting with ex’s and none of them went into their marriages thinking they would end. The divorce statistics in Australia are huge with one in three marriages ending in divorce. Whoa. The average marriage that ends in divorce lasts just 12 years.

Emma Johnson, author of has an idea that has everyone talking today, and…she just may be onto something. The idea? Instead of saying ”till death do we part”, you instead agree on a ten-year marriage contract. Before the wedding you sit down with your spouse-to-be, and create a document, kind of like a prenup, and outline what you would do with kids, finances etc if after ten years you decide not to renew the contract. If after ten years you still want to be married, you write up a new contract for the next ten years.

marriage contracts

There is part of me that thinks this is completely logical. I mean, break-ups are bloody awful and trying to work out custody arrangements and finances is the WORST. Then there are the feelings of failure that come after the break down of a relationship, but, if you’ve only signed up for ten years then technically you haven’t ‘failed’. That’s got to be a win, right?

On the other hand though, if you’re not even aiming for forever then why get married?  You are afforded all the same legal rights as an unmarried defacto couple, and having babies out of wedlock is no longer stigmatised.

If a ten year contract is the right thing for you to do I say go for it, twenty years ago prenups were looked at with disdain, as if predicting the end of the marriage was like putting a hex on on it, and we’ve seen heaps of celebs pretty glad they organised one of those. I just can’t help feeling that when two people are making their vows  ‘the next ten years with an option to renew’ doesn’t seem to have quite the same ring to it as ’till death do us part.’

Would you consider a ten-year marriage contract?

Chrissie Swan On The Couch chatting about sex contract in relationships: