While most of us might think that a traditional marriage — one built around the ideal of romance, monogamy, and lifelong commitment — is the only acceptable option, many a divorce lawyer around the country would tell you that there’s more than one way to get a marriage right.
In fact, exploring alternative models for success and happiness in marriage might help more people find an arrangement that works for their situation, as not everyone has the “traditional marriage” goals in mind. Just what sort of alternatives are possible? Explore these options, and you might be saving yourself from wasting time in a marriage that doesn’t fit.
Perhaps you’re interested in testing the idea of marriage, but not so certain you’re ready to be stuck with that lifelong commitment? Having a “trial” or “starter” marriage allows you to test the waters on marriage without feeling stuck in an inescapable situation.
Both parties agree to a duration for this relationship to last, with an option to extend their contract if it turns out the relationship meets or exceeds their initial expectations. As you might expect, children aren’t a part of this particular union.
Marriage For Financial Safety
Marriage has long been a way for people to find financial security, so why not be upfront about these needs? You can marry for money and safety over love, and so long as you’re honest about that, all parties can get exactly what they need from the relationship.
Marriage For Companionship
It’s entirely reasonable to enjoy the friendship and emotional companionship that marriage provides without being into the love and romance aspects of a traditional marriage. If this describes you, then a companionship marriage might be what you’re after from the start. It’s also natural for some couples to transition to a companionship marriage after they’ve had children and grown older.
Marriage For Parenting
Maybe you’re not looking for a romantic partner — or even a sexual one — but still want a union based on raising children? According to family law experts, this too is an acceptable way to go about marriage, and some choose to couple with the sole purpose of raising a child (or children) in mind.
You’ll just want to make sure you know what you’re doing with your assets in cases like these, and plan for who will be inheriting what. If you’re tying the knot in California, for instance, working with estate planning attorneys in Sacramento prior to a marriage like this will put you in the right spot to pass things on to your progeny when the time comes.
Let’s face it — for some people, monogamy simply will not work. For couples that are comfortable exploring modes of non-monogamy, an open marriage might be a way for them to test the boundaries and offer experiences that a traditional, monogamous relationship would not allow.
If none of these alternatives work for you and your partner and you have both agreed to part ways, then an uncontested divorce may be the best solution.