Couples are turning their backs on marriage
Couples are turning their backs on marriage

10-year relationship contracts could replace marriages and prevent divorce, say relationship experts

Experts believe that it is more realistic to commit for a decade than a lifetime 

Kashmira Gander
Monday 05 December 2016 11:42

When over one in three marriages ends in divorce, staying together ‘til death do us part seems unrealistic. With that in mind, couples are being advised to turn their backs on marriage and consider entering ten-year contracts instead.

Couples who choose a contract over a life-long union firstly lay out their goals for the relationship and financial terms should it end, and agree to stay together for a decade. The pair then reconsiders the future of their relationship as the milestone approaches.

Dating experts argue that this prevents messy divorces by giving couples a chance to re-evaluate their relationship. Official figures suggest that rates of divorce in the UK rise and reach a peak between the ages of 40 to 44-years-old - around a decade after the average couple ties the knot.

Dr Nikki Goldstein, a relationship expert, told Daily Mail Australia that couples do not want to be “seen to be failing” but “never stop to think ‘why isn’t it working for us?’”.

She added it is positive to allow couples to make their own rules when it comes to marrige, and suggested a contract could prevent divorce rather than encouraging break-ups.

Recently married Casey Beros and her husband, who isn't named, have taken inspiration from this idea. She told the newspaper that they opted to remove “til death do us part” from their vows because they wanted to avoid “promising forever” and “throwing caution to the wind.”

US blogger Emma Johnson has also aruged that the 10-year contract could be the best way forward for most couples. She wrote that she ignored the statistics thinking "no, no, no! Our marriage would survive.

“When we divorced, I was genuinely shocked. Now I see I was genuinely naïve.”

She added that the contract “embraces the human drive to formally couple” while offering the “legal and emotional protection” of a marriage.

“We no longer expect anything to last forever," she added.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in