Exactly what is wrong with marriage as traditionally defined, such that it is not the answer?The large number of people having kids and living outside of it should answer that one. Marriage, it seems, has an image problem. It's too associated with religion, and costs are high at beginning and end. If marriage is to be the norm, it must be seen as relevent. Currently, it's not, to a large number of people.
Kids are for life, not just for Christmas.Oh, right. I'm 31, my parents happen to still be together. If they'd split up, say, ten years ago, would I be any worse off now? Kids are for 18 years, after that, they're adults. If I thought my parents weren't happy together now, to find they were still together for my sake, after I've moved out completely? No thanks. In addition, I'm personally in contact with a few relationships which have arrangements designed around the children, but aren't themselves monogamous marriage. "split houses" and similar; it can work, well, and is much better than divorce &c.
I'd rather see two people commit to raising kids properly, but not necessarily live together the whole time, than see two people try to stay together and divorce while the kids are still kids.
not if you are going to have - or risk having - children. The purpose of marriage is to bring forward and expose the protagonists to the reality and seriousness of the commitment BEFORE children appear on the scene.Maybe. Maybe it was, maybe it is, maybe it should be. But many many people don't think that way. Maybe that's a bad thing, maybe society is adapting and evolving to a new perspective. Maybe the desire to "protect marriage" is preventing the desire to reform it in such a way as it's perceived as relevent to people planning to, or accidentally managing to have, kids.
That successive governments have done their level best to undermine marriage as an institution - an error to which we can pin much of the breakdown of social order in general - is a damning indictment of government, not of the institution of marriage.Maybe. But, y'see, that horse has already bolted. Divorce Act was passed way before I was born. Given that, effectively, the battle is lost, marriage (or something else), needs to be made relevent again.
Personally, redefining it, stating the objectives, removing the religious element; that's a pile of sensible objectives.
Giving couples expecting kids a half way house that they can sign up to quickly, establishing legal rights and responsibilities to the kids (not each other necessarily) would be a good thing.
That's what I think. But I'm old-fashioned like that.I'm not. I'm a reformist. If it's stopped working (which it has), fix it. If it's possible to fix it by returning to exactly what was, great. But in this case, I don't think it is.
To clarify; I'm not opposed to marriage, but I know from experience that increasingly people are not inclined to marry, even if they have kids. Given the legal rights non-married fathers have (ie, very few), that's something I plan to avoid if I ever have any. But I don't, personally, like the connotations of marriage in it's traditional sense. I'd rather a contract of some sorts that set out permanent rights and responsibilities (ie to kids and their financial support), but also did not require a permanent commitment to the partner. Supporting kids is one thing, continuing a doomed relationship is another.
Anyone else have strong views on the subject? Is marriage something that Govts and sociey shoudl return to as the norm, is it completely unnecessary, or should a middle ground be found? If so, is my proposal something you could relate to?