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2011: Do You Approve of Term Marriages? Divorce Proposals in Mexico City

In San Diego, marriages are until “death do us part” or until a divorce or legal separation. San Diego has never had term limits on marriage and spouses have no option to end the marriage except a legal separation or divorce. Divorce and legal separation can terminate either legal status or have court orders for the division of community property, community debts, child support, spousal support, custody, visitation and other issues relating to the community estate in addition to the parties being able to re marry.

The divorce rate in Mexico is reported as high. Many marriages end in divorce and some in as short as two years. Mexico City Assemblyman, Leonel Luna, has proposed a bill which would allow proposed spouses to choose a two year term for their marriage to expire if the married couple finds their relationship lacking in harmony or unstable. The bill would also address issues such as property division and custody of any child or children of the marriage. The two year term would be the minimum and could be renewed upon their agreement. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the proposed bill by the end of this year. Presumably, the spouses would agree on their parenting plan, support and division of any assets and debts before they were married and this could be contained in a pre nuptial agreement.

The Catholic Church is reported as being outraged over this proposal. Mexico has a very high population of Catholics and birth control is still debated fiercely and this new proposal will be at the same level. No other country in the world, to date, has term marriages. Some countries in the world still have no divorce at all and these two countries are the Vatican City and the Philippines.

There is only speculation as to whether term limits on marriage would decrease divorce rates or increase divorce rates. Semantics will also play a role since, if the marriage term expires without renewal, this will not be considered a divorce yet the marriage is dissolved and the parties are free to remarry. While, theoretically, term marriages would reduce the divorce statistics, term marriages may result in more marriages terminating by operation of time in the term and not from any other reason. Many countries make getting a divorce difficult and time consuming to discourage divorce. San Diego has a residency requirement of three months living in San Diego County and six months living in California before a divorce can be filed and this can be either the petitioner or the respondent. To obtain a divorce in San Diego, the petitioner must file the petition and summons, serve, serve the proof of service of the preliminary declaration of disclosure comprised of the income and expense declaration and the schedule of assets and debts with all accompanying documentation and then either a marital settlement agreement with the mandatory judgment pleadings or a trial in front of a San Diego Superior Court Judicial Officer. If there was a term limit in San Diego for a divorce, then none of this would be necessary in theory since the marriage was dissolved by the duration of the marriage contract.

We offer, for divorce, legal separation or paternity cases in San Diego County where we practice, a confidential consultation and please feel free to contact us to set up your individual appointment.

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