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

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: December 7, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., Till Death Us Do Part? On Lifelong and Fixed-Term Marriage (December 7, 2016). MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW INSTITUTE WORKING PAPER No. 2016/9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2882121 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2882121

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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