Definition of marriage law
Marriage law refers to the legal requirements which determine the validity of a marriage, which vary considerably between countries.
Rights and obligations
A marriage, by definition, 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:
- Giving a husband/wife or his/her family control over a spouse's labor, and property.
- Giving a husband/wife responsibility for a spouse's debts.
- Giving a husband/wife visitation rights when his/her spouse is incarcerated or hospitalized.
- Giving a husband/wife control over his/her spouse's affairs when the spouse is incapacitated.
- Establishing the second legal guardian of a parent's child.
- Establishing a joint fund of property for the benefit of children.
- Establishing a relationship between the families of the spouses.
These rights and obligations vary considerably between societies, and between groups within society.
Marriage is an institution that is historically filled with restrictions. From age, to gender, to social status, restrictions are placed on marriage by society.
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