Before you post this thread is NOT about gay marriage, well at least that's not the main subject. I've seen an idea elsewhere on the internet that I thought was intriguing. What if we were to remove marriage from the legal system. The government cannot marry people, the government will not make any laws regarding married couples (such as tax breaks), the marriage license becomes extinct etc. Marriage becomes a contract that two people sign that dictates what will happen if one party dies or if they divorce or if they have kids or whatever. The state will only recognize the marriage as any other formal agreement/contract (disputes over it will be settled in civil court for instance). Now this would allow gays get married but as I said the state would only recognize it as just a specific contract (which anyone over 18 can be a part of), no different than a business arrangement. Now if we were to make this law tomorrow all those who are married or engaged will have all the same marriage laws apply to them but after a year or so it becomes a contract. One advantage of this would be that the state could no longer change the terms of marriage by changing laws. Judges will no longer get to decide who gets custody or how a divorced couple will end up, and of course common law marriages will be dead. The only time judges would get involved is if something happens that wasn't part of the contract but well-written ones should make that an impossibility. Also the terms of the contract can of course be different between couples. So anyone else think we should remove the state from marriage?