This informational document was distributed by Wevow Ltd. shortly after a landmark European Court of Justice ruling made a variety of marriage terms legal and binding across the EU:
So you're thinking about getting married?
Congratulations! Marriage is one of the most significant commitments you will ever make. We're here to make sure that your marriage is the best that it can possibly be. That means it's important for you to approach marriage with not only your heart open, but also your eyes as well.
Some marriages really do last forever — but most do not. This isn't anyone's fault. We live longer than ever before, which means we have far more opportunities to travel and change and meet new people. The truth is that most marriages end in divorce after 30 years, and it's often an unhappy end.
It doesn't have to be like that.
Marriage contracts combine genuine commitment with the ability to end an unfulfilling union cleanly and calmly, if necessary. Rather than shortening marriages and making them bloodless, at Wevow we find that a contract helps strengthen them. Our contract services outperform the national average on divorce rates and marital happiness, and we achieve this by providing the best possible advice to our clients. This guide serves as a brief introduction to what we offer.
There are four choices of certified marriage contracts available today:
1. Life-long marriage.
This has been the default marriage choice until very recently, despite the fact that a third of marriages end in divorce after less than 15 years, and that reported levels of satisfaction underperform all other types of marriage. As such, while life-long may be appropriate in some specialised circumstances, we do not generally recommend this option, at least not without temporary break clauses.
2. Thirty-year renewable marriage.
Our most popular choice, this contract mirrors the historical average term for successful marriages while also allowing for more than enough time to raise a family. If you are planning to have children, we would recommend adding a rider that requires the marriage to last until your children turn 18.
At the end of the 30-year term, we request that couples attend a series of meetings with a marriage counsellor as well as a religious or secular official of your choice. After the meetings, if one or both parties believes that the marriage should not continue, it will be automatically and speedily dissolved. However, if both parties believe that the marriage should continue, it will be eligible for renewal.
3. Fifteen-year renewable marriage.
An ideal choice for couples who aren't planning to have children or are particularly young. Early research indicates that the 15-year renewable marriage performs extremely well in terms of long-term life satisfaction when compared to most alternatives.
4. Five-year renewable marriage.
This is the legal default for couples who are very young or have only known each other for a very short period of time, as it helps protect them against making rash or hasty decisions. We generally do not recommend it for other couples unless special circumstances apply.
(Regardless of the option you choose, we require that our clients draw up a standard pre-nuptial contract. We believe that if you truly love your partner, then there's no better expression of that love than ensuring that any parting doesn't hurt more than it has to. No-one can predict the future — but we can prepare for it.)
A good marriage contract combines love with wisdom. Make the wise choice: choose Wevow.
For information about multiple marriages, please consult our leaflet, "More Fun in the Family".
Note: If one or more partners in the marriage are non-humans, you may need to check the legality of your marriage, depending on where you reside.