In New Zealand we have a plethora of licensing requirements for driving, owning a dog, opening a bar, fresh water fishing, owning a car or to organise any event that may impimge upon the sanctity of our public places.
With all but one exception these licenses are defined to be time specific.
The one exception is the issuing of a marriage license - there is no defined use by date - the assumption is that it will be forever.
In a society where over 50% of marriages fail the test of time this assumption seems absurd and unrealistic.
It would seem much more relevant to issue a marriage license for a specific time frame.
For those who remain happily together the need to revisit their marriage commitments would be a positive restatement of a future together.
For those who do not have the same sense of happiness there would be relief in the knowledge that society no longer would condemn them to any sense of failure should they choose to separate or not renew their marriage licenses.
Licenses don't change behaviour they merely define society's expectation.
Our present licensing requirements haven't kept couple's happy.
Let's get real - being married should be an ongoing choice - not a life sentence.
For those with a disregard for the benefit of licenses, the question might well be to ask why we would need to have a license at all...but that's a different discussion altogether..