A ' mahr ', either immediate or deferred, is the woman's portion of the groom's wealth divorce or estate death. These amounts are usually set on the basis of the groom's own and family wealth and incomes, but in some parts these are set very high so as to provide a disincentive for the groom exercising the divorce, or the husband's family 'inheriting' a large portion of the estate, especially if there are no male offspring from the marriage. If the husband cannot pay the mahr , either in case of a divorce or on demand, according to the current laws in Iran, he will have to pay it by installments.
Failure to pay the mahr might even lead to imprisonment. It is also known as brideprice although this has fallen in disfavor as it implies the purchase of the bride. Bridewealth is the amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. In anthropological literature, bride price has often been explained as payment made to compensate the bride's family for the loss of her labor and fertility. In some cases, bridewealth is a means by which the groom's family's ties to the children of the union are recognized.
In some countries a married person or couple benefits from various taxation advantages not available to a single person. For example, spouses may be allowed to average their combined incomes. This is advantageous to a married couple with disparate incomes. To compensate for this, countries may provide a higher tax bracket for the averaged income of a married couple.
While income averaging might still benefit a married couple with a stay-at-home spouse, such averaging would cause a married couple with roughly equal personal incomes to pay more total tax than they would as two single persons. In the United States, this is called the marriage penalty. When the rates applied by the tax code are not based income averaging, but rather on the sum of individuals' incomes, higher rates will usually apply to each individual in a two-earner households in a progressive tax systems. This is most often the case with high-income taxpayers and is another situation called a marriage penalty.
Conversely, when progressive tax is levied on the individual with no consideration for the partnership, dual-income couples fare much better than single-income couples with similar household incomes. The effect can be increased when the welfare system treats the same income as a shared income thereby denying welfare access to the non-earning spouse. Such systems apply in Australia and Canada, for example.
In many Western cultures, marriage usually leads to the formation of a new household comprising the married couple, with the married couple living together in the same home, often sharing the same bed, but in some other cultures this is not the tradition. In these cases, married couples may not form an independent household, but remain part of an extended family household.
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Early theories explaining the determinants of postmarital residence  connected it with the sexual division of labor. However, to date, cross-cultural tests of this hypothesis using worldwide samples have failed to find any significant relationship between these two variables. However, Korotayev 's tests show that the female contribution to subsistence does correlate significantly with matrilocal residence in general.
However, this correlation is masked by a general polygyny factor.
Although, in different-sex marriages, an increase in the female contribution to subsistence tends to lead to matrilocal residence, it also tends simultaneously to lead to general non-sororal polygyny which effectively destroys matrilocality. If this polygyny factor is controlled e. Thus, Murdock's hypotheses regarding the relationships between the sexual division of labor and postmarital residence were basically correct, though  the actual relationships between those two groups of variables are more complicated than he expected. There has been a trend toward the neolocal residence in western societies.
Marriage laws refer to the legal requirements which determine the validity of a marriage, which vary considerably between countries. A marriage bestows rights and obligations on the married parties, and sometimes on relatives as well, being the sole mechanism for the creation of affinal ties in-laws. These may include, depending on jurisdiction:. These rights and obligations vary considerably between societies, and between groups within society. In many countries today, each marriage partner has the choice of keeping his or her property separate or combining properties.
In the latter case, called community property , when the marriage ends by divorce each owns half. In lieu of a will or trust , property owned by the deceased generally is inherited by the surviving spouse. In some legal systems, the partners in a marriage are "jointly liable" for the debts of the marriage. This has a basis in a traditional legal notion called the "Doctrine of Necessities" whereby, in a heterosexual marriage, a husband was responsible to provide necessary things for his wife. Where this is the case, one partner may be sued to collect a debt for which they did not expressly contract.
Critics of this practice note that debt collection agencies can abuse this by claiming an unreasonably wide range of debts to be expenses of the marriage. The cost of defense and the burden of proof is then placed on the non-contracting party to prove that the expense is not a debt of the family. The respective maintenance obligations, both during and eventually after a marriage, are regulated in most jurisdictions ; alimony is one such method.
Marriage is an institution that is historically filled with restrictions. From age, to race, to social status, to consanguinity , to gender, restrictions are placed on marriage by society for reasons of benefiting the children, passing on healthy genes, maintaining cultural values, or because of prejudice and fear. Almost all cultures that recognize marriage also recognize adultery as a violation of the terms of marriage. Most jurisdictions set a minimum age for marriage , that is, a person must attain a certain age to be legally allowed to marry.
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Although most age restrictions are in place in order to prevent children from being forced into marriages, especially to much older partners — marriages which can have negative education and health related consequences, and lead to child sexual abuse and other forms of violence  — such child marriages remain common in parts of the world.
To prohibit incest and eugenic reasons, marriage laws have set restrictions for relatives to marry. Direct blood relatives are usually prohibited to marry, while for branch line relatives, laws are wary.
Laws banning "race-mixing" were enforced in certain North American jurisdictions from  until , in Nazi Germany The Nuremberg Laws from until , and in South Africa during most part of the Apartheid era — All these laws primarily banned marriage between persons of different racially or ethnically defined groups, which was termed "amalgamation" or "miscegenation" in the U. The laws in Nazi Germany and many of the U. In the United States, laws in some but not all of the states prohibited the marriage of whites and blacks, and in many states also the intermarriage of whites with Native Americans or Asians.
From until , 30 out of the then 48 states enforced such laws. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that still had them. The Nuremberg Laws classified Jews as a race and forbade marriage and extramarital sexual relations at first with people of Jewish descent, but was later ended to the "Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring" and people of "German or related blood".
South Africa under apartheid also banned interracial marriage. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, prohibited marriage between persons of different races, and the Immorality Act of made sexual relations with a person of a different race a crime. Additionally, Armenia , Estonia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries.
Same-sex marriage is also due to soon become performed and recognized by law in Costa Rica and Taiwan. The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through legislative change to marriage law , a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or by direct popular vote via ballot initiative or referendum.
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The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue. Various faith communities around the world support same-sex marriage, while many religious groups oppose it. Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies.
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The establishment of recognition in law for the marriages of same-sex couples is one of the most prominent objectives of the LGBT rights movement. Polygyny is widely practiced in mostly Muslim and African countries. In most other jurisdictions, polygamy is illegal. For example, In the United States, polygamy is illegal in all 50 states.
In the lateth century, citizens of the self-governing territory of what is present-day Utah were forced by the United States federal government to abandon the practice of polygamy through the vigorous enforcement of several Acts of Congress , and eventually complied. Several countries such as India and Sri Lanka,  permit only their Islamic citizens to practice polygamy.