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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Would Some Marriages Be Better If Couples Signed 'Wedleases'?

Aug 13, 2013
Originally published on August 13, 2013 5:56 pm

"People marry and divorce as if getting married is the equivalent of the high school concept of going steady," says Florida lawyer Paul Rampell.

Which is why, as Rampell said Tuesday on Tell Me More, he's pitching the idea of "wedleases."

That is:

"A combination of the words wedlock and lease. Two people commit themselves to a marriage, to a written contract for a period of years. One year. Five years. Ten years. Whatever term suits them.

"The marital lease can renewed at the end of the term, however many times the couple likes. It could end up lasting a life time if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad the couple can go their separate ways at the end of the term they've chosen. The messiness of divorce is avoided and at the end, it can be as simple as moving out of a rental apartment."

He's not, Rampell said, suggesting that wedleases replace traditional marriages. He's suggesting they be an option.

Rampell also says they just make sense in some cases:

"Here is one situation. You have an 18-year-old daughter who is in love and is determined to marry Joe Blow. Joe is 30 years old. He is married and divorced three times. He has three children. He's been bankrupt and he is currently unemployed.

"Maybe you can't talk your naive, starry-eyed child out of marriage, but you might be able to talk her into a wedlease. I mean anybody who wants to marry Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan ought to have a wedlease."

He recently wrote more about the wedlease idea on the op-ed pages of The Washington Post.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.