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New Concept in Wedlock: The "Wedlease"

 Posted on September 11, 2013 in Divorce

The Huffington Post recently wrote about a new concept in family law that was actually developed by a real estate attorney as an alternative to marriage. Instead of "entering into wedlock", Paul Rampell says couples should enter in a "wedlease".

Kerry wedleaseRampell says part of the problem with the institute of marriage is that legal structure of marriage has not adapted or expanded as society has changed. There has been no improvement to that legal structure.

Citing marriage as a "legal partnership that lasts a lifetime", Rampell says that lifetime partnership is reason for the high rate of divorce, "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," he says.

He suggests borrowing from real estate by creating a marital lease – a "wedlease".

Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years. They decided on the term - one year, five years, 10 years, etc. 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.

The marital lease could describe the property of the spouses in detail, so separate ownership is clear. If a couple buys property together, 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.

Rampell said couples could even use security deposits, just like they do in real estate. Each spouse could deposit a sum of money with an independent third party to ensure compliance with the wedlease. A further step could be to authorize the third party to arbitrate disputes between the spouses.

Rampell says the only real difference between premarital and postnuptial contracts and the wedlease is that it addresses the reality that the marital relationship between two people often does not last a lifetime.

Whatever kind of pre- or post-marital contracts you may be considering, make sure you consult with a qualified DuPage County family law attorney to make sure you are fully protected in negotiations.

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