Till Death Us Do Part? On Lifelong and Fixed-Term Marriage
MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW INSTITUTE WORKING PAPER No. 2016/9
12 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 7, 2016
A long-standing rule of family law is that marriage is concluded for an indeterminate period of time. Notwithstanding the possibility to divorce one’s partner after marriage, it is at present impossible to agree upon matrimony for, for example, two or five years. This contribution considers whether this is indeed the most appropriate rule to adopt. After an attempt to establish the origins of marriage as a permanent bond in the Western legal tradition, this view is contrasted with the Islamic Mutah and with failed proposals to introduce a fixed-term marriage. The core of the article consists of a discussion of the arguments in favour and against accepting temporary marriage.
Keywords: Family law, Marriage duration, Nikah Mutah, Contractualisation, Wedlease
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