How Marriage Contracts Can Help Save Your Rocky Relationship

How Marriage Contracts Can Help Save Your Rocky Relationship

Divorce is a specter that haunts every person’s mind as they consider making the leap from a relationship to a fully legal marriage. “What if…” questions spring involuntarily into the minds of most couples, with these frightening potentialities causing many couples to delay marriage and family formation well into their late thirties.

Divorce peaked with the baby boomer generation, but that may be because their children and grandchildren looked at how poorly their marriages worked out and began opting out or approaching the subject of marriage with far more caution. Many of these younger generations personally experience being children of divorce, and they are willing to do almost anything to avoid that happening to their own children.

Modern life, with its potential for a free-floating existence that leaves you with nothing tying you down and seemingly endless possibilities, makes marriage and family development a more difficult choice. How can you choose to voluntarily tie yourself down to a single person and place when so many options exist?

These outside factors and forces never disappear, even after the vows are exchanged and the paperwork is signed. There is near-constant pressure to re-evaluate your choice, to look critically at your partner and ask yourself, ‘Are they really for me? Did I make the right decision?’

This can contribute to a uniquely modern situation where many couples eventually find themselves at an impasse, where the resentment has gotten so deep that their relationship enters a terminal spiral where everything the other does rubs them the wrong way. This leads to constant fighting, sullen silences, and a highly stressful environment for both them and the family they might have created together.

Despite this hostile environment and mutual resentment, many of these couples will find that they do not want the relationship to end, either for the sake of their family or because they still love one another. They are stuck in an unhappy position that they do not know how to extricate themselves from.

Newport Beach mediator firm McNamee Mediations had seen this situation innumerable times over the years, which is why the team worked to develop a last-ditch effort to save the relationship via a unique contract. This contract – dubbed a marriage contract by McNamee – helps couples develop a formalized legal carrot-and-stick incentive to avoid destructive behaviors that are damaging the relationship.

The marriage contract stipulates the behavioral parameters that each party must abide by during the agreement’s duration. If one or both members of the relationship fail to meet the expectations set by the agreement, the mediator will immediately submit the paperwork to formalize the divorce.

The agreement helps clarify what behaviors each party sees as especially destructive and provides an immediate and visceral consequence for continuing that behavior. With these parameters put in place, it helps direct each party to think very hard before they act and may help in alleviating the issues that stem from these particular aggravations.

While it isn’t a fool-proof method of saving a marriage, many couples have found that the terms of the contract work in helping repair the damage these behaviors have caused in their relationship. If you or a loved one finds themselves stuck in a destructive cycle that may end their marriage despite wanting to stay together, give McNamee Mediations a call to see if creating a marriage contract can work for your relationship.

McNamee Mediations


4590 MacArthur Blvd #500, Newport Beach, CA 92660

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