Monday, August 19, 2013

Robert Anson Heinlein is Right, yet again

If it were NOT for Robert A. Heinlein, I'd be yet another slack jawed yokel, non-reading, sheet rock hanging or wrench turning, know nothing idgit!  But because a Librarian stuck a copy of "Red Planet" in my hand, thus lighting the fire of READING in me, I became the reasonably well read, autodidact [look it up!] that I am. 

I certainly AM one of Heinlein's Kids.

I've read everything Heinlein ever wrote.  In many of his adult novels he wrote about the concept of 'term marriages', some short term, some long term.  It was designed to be a renewable marriage contract that would allow people to move on, if they so desired.  Well, kids, it's no longer the pervue of fiction.

A high divorce rate means it's time to try 'wedleases'

We all know that far too many marriages end in divorce, yet this institution does not adapt. Indeed, most Americans today want to expand conventional marriage to include same-sex couples.
So why is there no effort to improve the legal structure of marriage, when it shows itself to be deficient?

Marriage is a legal partnership that lasts a lifetime — one lifetime to be exact, that of the first of the spouses to die. Generally speaking, that is a long time for any partnership. 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.

In real estate, one may own a life estate in a piece of property. This is comparable to the term of a marriage — a lifetime. And in real estate, one may hold possession of property for shorter terms through a lease.

Why don't we 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 divorce is avoided, and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.

A marital lease could describe the property of the spouses in detail, so separate ownership is clear. If a couple wishes to buy something together, or share ownership, they can keep a schedule of these items and decide as they go along how these would be disposed of in the event of a partner's death or if they do not renew their wedlease. Landlords and tenants have proved the effectiveness of making clear their separate property and its disposition at the end of property leases.

If the couple has a child, there could be an option to have the lease automatically continue until the child reaches the age of majority. Of course, relationships change with family additions, and an extended term may not be feasible. But considering the number of children born out of wedlock these days, would it not be better for parents to at least commit to a wedlease, even if it doesn't last a lifetime? 

Heinlein's systems of marriage ALWAYS provided for the CHILDREN first and foremost.  A system, might I add, that doesn't always exist in our country at present.   Many of the people I know who get divorced are MUCH more worried about the $$$ than they are the kids!

I have to tell you, given the ME, ME, ME attitude, 'Term Marriages' are the way to go.  The caveat being, ANYONE who is in a 'Term Marriage', should be barred from having children.


Anonymous said...

It sounds good, but (single) is a whole lot better!

Electric Beaver Trimmer said...

Certainly there would be a Lemon Law clause to the lease.

Otherwise there needs to be a 'Terminate' rider executable by execution.

And the standard Hydrochloric Acid Douche Amendment... just in case the Stank shart to Really STANK.