Florida Lawyer Rampbell Proposes Wedleases As Solution To High Divorce Rates

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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America’s divorce rate continues to hover around 50%. And as many people know all too well, divorce brings a mess of emotions, lawyers, and court fees along with it.

One Florida lawyer has a solution for America’s divorce problem: wedleases.

Earlier this month, real estate lawyer Paul Rampbell wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to pitch this idea. In Rampbell’s vision, couples would sign a marital lease agreement for a period of years – be it one, five, or ten. At the end of the wedlease, the couple would have the option to renew their commitment for another term or go their separate ways. Rampbell believes his idea would eliminate much of the legal battle that currently accompanies divorce.

“Our society has become comfortable with premarital and postnuptial contracts,” Rampbell said. “The marital lease would be similar, except that it addresses the reality that the marital relationship between two people often does not last a lifetime.”

In other parts of his op-ed, Rampbell’s real estate background is clearly seen as he breaks down shared property between wedlease spouses.

“A marital lease could describe the property of the spouses in detail, so separate ownership is clear,” Rampbell writes. “If a couple wishes to buy something together, or share ownership, 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. Landlords and tenants have proved the effectiveness of making clear their separate property and its disposition at the end of property leases.”

Even if the notion of a wedlease sounds odd, Rampbell writes that it would alter the institution of marriage so that it better fits the reality of divorce.

“Why doesn’t society make the legal structure of marriage more congruent to our behavior?” he writes. “A wedlease may be a practical improvement to an institution whose success, today, is something of a coin toss.”

So, wedleases. What do you think? A bogus idea or a reasonable solution to the troubles of divorce?

Sources: NPR, Washington Post