Today Marriage is a legal
joining between two individuals of the opposite sex
that forms the basis of the family structure.
Marriage has been an integral part of most religions
for millennia giving sanction to and establishing
rules for sexual relations between a man and a
Marriage is governed by state law
in modern day and is a union requiring obtaining of
a marriage license and the taking of marriage
Marriage can also take the form of "common law
marriage" which is a form of marriage resulting from
cohabitation without the formal process of "getting
married". Most states only recognize a common
law marriage if it originated in and was recognized
by a jurisdiction permitting such marriages.
Until recently, marriage was
considered a life long commitment that could only be
broken by death or infidelity. It's legal
definition has evolved recently to allow the parties
divorce and the marriage contract to be dissolved by
the parties at will without specific cause.
Other changes have occurred in recent decades
changing what had been the norm set over many
centuries. Both parties are expected to
provide spousal support to the marriage or family
whereas traditionally this role belonged to the
husband. Today, unlike past times, women are
usually granted custody of any children produced by
the marriage after a divorce. Children born
out of wedlock today have the same rights to support
from both parents as legitimately born children.
The husband is no longer considered the head of the
family and spousal abuse is no longer allowed.
Property acquired during the marriage is considered
to be community property owned equally by husband
and wife and no longer property of just the title
Generally, marriage can be thought
of as an institution giving a husband and wife the
rights to merge their lives together in a family
bond providing both emotional and economic benefits
sanctioned by society and under the law. Marriage
also establishes the father and mother of a child.
The area of law dealing with marriage and the family
is usually referred to as
Love, emotional relationships, rearing children,
sexual privileges, property ownership, kinship,
inheritance and relationship to society are all part
of the privileges and obligations that come with
The building blocks for society
are thought to begin with the family structure.
Without marriage these building blocks would not
exist and society as we know it today would not
exist. Marriage is very basis for creating the
civilized nature of human existence. Without
it mankind would not have the civil, structured
society that we all enjoy.
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