The opposition families and Aboriginal affairs spokesman has called for a return to the fault-based system of divorce discarded in 1975, which was replaced by a "no-fault" system.
Mr Abbott's plan, outlined in his soon-to-be released book Battlelines, would see a grounds for divorce reintroduced, including adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and imprisonment.
It would be similar to the defunct Matrimonial Causes Act.
Currently people are allowed to divorce after a 12-month separation.
Speaking to Fairfax newspapers, the conservative politician and former Howard government minister said couples should be offered a choice of both marriage systems.
"The point I make in the book is that a society that is moving towards some kind of recognition of gay unions, for instance, is surely capable of providing additional recognition to what might be thought of as traditional marriage," Mr Abbott said.
"Something akin to Matrimonial Causes Act marriage ought to be an option for people who would like it.
"Even though (marriage) is probably the most important commitment that any human being can make, in fact there are many, many contracts which are harder to enter and harder to get out of than this one."
© 2009 AAP