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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unique Opportunity

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Are you hardworking?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

What is Family law

Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including, but not limited to:
* the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
* issues arising during marriage, including spousal abuse, legitimacy, adoption, surrogacy, child abuse, and child abduction
* the termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, and parental responsibility orders (in the United States, child custody and visitation, child support awards).
This list is by no means dispositive of the potential issues that come through the family court system. In many jurisdictions in the United States, the family courts see the most crowded dockets. Litigants representative of all social and economic classes are parties within the system. Because the family courts are notoriously underfunded and see a relatively large proportion of economically dependent litigants, a common criticism levied is that the system inherently prejudices the needs of these disadvantaged parties.
For the Conflict of Laws elements dealing with transnational and interstate issues, see marriage (conflict), divorce (conflict) and nullity (conflict).
Marriage (conflict)
In Conflict of Laws, the issue of marriage has assumed increasing public policy significance in a world of increasing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community existence.
Public policy
The central political issue for each state is the choice between potential conflict and accommodation, between assimilation and the preservation of minority rights in a diversified society. Many nations formally adopt a policy to achieve a full cultural integration and a uniform identity for all their citizens no matter what their ethnic, religious social origins. Regardless whether this is a realistic aspiration, it contrasts starkly with a policy to allow "discrete and insular minorities" to form and retain their individual identities which may be seen as a question of equality: as to whether a modern state should be aiming for equality between its citizens or an equality between groups.
As an institution, marriage represents a significant set of values which helps to define how each state wishes to constitute the family unit, regulates sexual behavior, and plans for the continued growth of population. The state may also allow religious qualities to be attributed to the relationship or, as an aspect of the constitutional separation in some countries between church and state, view it as no more than a form of domestic partnership. It will also reflect deeply held beliefs and prejudices on the age at which people may marry, the number of people who may enter the relationship, and whether same-sex marriage is acceptable. Questions on the legitimacy of any children may also be difficult to resolve.
So long as people remain in their own states, they will understand the prevailing values and, whether willingly or not, decide on the extent to which they will conform. But, as attitudes change and travel between states becomes routine, governments have found it increasingly necessary to decide what forms of ceremony they will allow to create valid marriages in their own territories, and whether all forms of marriage, lawfully celebrated in another sovereign state, will be recognized for the purposes of immigration and access to social welfare and other benefits nominally available to a husband and/or wife and/or child of the family. The problem for each state as it acts as a host for new cultures and belief systems is that a failure to accept and accommodate the new social realities may simply drive the practice of the many customs underground where the potential for abuse is significant. If the law as officially published and the reality on the ground differ dramatically, this poses serious questions about the role of the judiciary in protecting the human rights and civil rights of the women and children who find themselves victimized by the failure of the law to offer them protection.
The choice of law options
The standard choice of law rules for adjudicating on issues relating to marriage represent a balance between the various public policies of the laws involved:
Status and capacity are defined by the personal laws of the parties, namely:
* the lex domicilii or law of the domicile in common law states, and
* either the lex patriae or law of nationality, or law of habitual residence in civil law states).
The personal laws will usually define status in rem so that it is recognised wherever the individual may travel subject only to significant public policy limits. Hence, for example, as an aspect of parens patriae, a state will define the age at which a person may marry. If such a limitation could simply be evaded by the young person traveling abroad on a holiday to a country with a lower age limit, this would clearly breach the policy of the "parental" state. The same principle would apply to an adult who wished to create a polygamous marriage or to evade a restriction on consanguinity. In Family Law as opposed to the Law of Contract, there is also a strong case for legal capacity to be universally enforced to limit to ability of individuals to evade normally mandatory rules. The claims of the lex loci celebrationis to apply are weak given that the significance of the location may be no more than the convenience of their laws to those wishing to marry.

The formal and/or essential validity of the marriage
* The form of the marriage is governed by the lex loci celebrationis or the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated, and is usually considered definitive on whether the ceremony has been effective to create the relationship of marriage (see nullity).
* The validity of the marriage is governed by the capacity of the parties to marry each other. That capacity is usually governed by the domicile of the parties. Thus for example, a 13 year old does not have the capacity to marry in England, but does have that capacity in Nigeria.

The lex fori

The lex fori as the law of the forum which will usually be the state where the spouses have sought to make their matrimonial home. This state will usually have a clear and direct interest in the applications of its policies to regulate the nature of relationships permitted to confer the status of husband and wife within their territorial boundaries. It may also attempt to regulate the behavior of those who wish to cohabit within their territory although this may contravene privacy rights.


There are serious problems of characterisation and the possibility of an incidental question in the Family Law field because of the strength of the prevailing attitudes and prejudices on sexual propriety. Hence, for example, given the increasing prominence given to the phenomenon of paedophilia, the issue of age in relation to sexual activity has come to represent a major issue for many Western states and, no matter what the claims of the lex loci celebrationis to be applied as the determinant of the validity of any alleged marriage involving young adults, the policies of the personal laws of the parties and the lex fori are often given greater prominence. Some think that these cultural responses to different customs are given impetus by an underlying lack of respect for people of different race, religion or ethnicity. Whereas traditionally the law is viewed as driven by the Doctrine of Comity and the principles of reciprocity, those who administer and apply the law are undoubtedly affected by local social or political pressures to disapprove some customs of "foreign" states.
Religious forms of marriage

Where a society permits worship by a given religion, and worshippers wish to marry according to the tenets of their religion, the state must decide whether that ceremony will be effective to create a valid marriage (i.e. the place of worship and the members of the relevant clergy are authorised by the state for the conduct of marriage ceremonies) or whether a civil ceremony will be required to create a marriage. For example, the Islamic form of marriage is a contract between the bride and groom (or their proxies) known as a nikah. Some Islamic couples only go through a nikah ceremony and do not register the marriage with the civil authorities or go through a civil ceremony. When such a relationship breaks down, the wife is left without state protection that would normally be available if the marriage had been registered according to civil law. The situation is exacerbated if the husband refuses to grant a talaq and also refuses to make any provision. In states where there is no Sharia Court, the affected individuals' only recourse would be to the local civil courts, but jurisdiction would be difficult to invoke except under the parens patriae provisions to protect the best interests of any children. As to transnational marriages, there is no reason in principle why religious ceremonies effective under the lex loci celebrationis should not create marriages recognized as valid everywhere.

Customary law marriages

In many states, culturally separate communities have retained their own traditions and laws on the family. This creates a problem for developing states as they begin the process of establishing a centralized system of law. In South Africa, for example, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 1999 retrospectively recognizes as valid, all customary marriages so long as they are registered. Further, s2(3) of the Act provides that, if a person has entered into more than one customary law marriage, all valid marriages entered into before the commencement of the Act, are recognized. The Act similarly recognizes all customary marriages entered into after the commencement of the Act where the High Court approves a written contract regulating the future matrimonial property systems for marriages (both present and prospective spouses must be joined in the application). This is a major departure from the previous legal position because customary marriages being potentially or actually polygamous, were considered against public policy and were not recognized under the formal law. This reversal was due to a recognition that it was impossible to enforce the prohibition and due to the fact that wives usually consent to the polygamous marriage. Where a state has produced formal laws to control recognition, this will establish a general framework under which international recognition can be managed. Where there is no formal rule within the lex loci celebrationis, a forum court could hear expert evidence on whether the marriage would be accepted as effective (see the public policy of favor matrimonii which creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of the validity of any marriage) but it will be difficult for the parties to justify their failure to comply with the local laws that unambiguously would have created a valid marriage.

Common law marriages

In some states, the legal acceptability of common law marriage is very limited. Some couples, whether because there are no local formalities relevant to them or because they have strongly-held prejudices against compliance with the local forms, decide to create a marriage either by a simple public exchange of vows (per verbis inter praesentes), or by habit and repute. Because the need for Comity between states requires respect for the legal systems, it is now very difficult to identify states with no local system for the celebration and registration of marriages, and even more difficult for the courts of one state to justify a decision to support the prejudices of two of its citizens against the laws of the second state. However, other states permit informal marriages to acquire legal status and, where this happens, there is no reason in principle why international recognition should not follow.

The age of marriage

Culture changes slowly. Prior to 1951, in Northern Ireland, a boy of fourteen years of age and a girl of twelve years of age could validly marry at common law. The setting of the age at fourteen years for a boy and twelve years for a girl represents a not uncommon world standard for marriage, but reflects a feeling that although individuals may have reached physical sexual maturity, there should be a limit requiring parental consent or prohibition (even with parental consent) until the individuals have reached an age at which they are deemed to have the capacity to take responsibility for their decisions on major life-changing commitments. This view of intellectual maturity has raised the age in Europe to sixteen years of age and also up to 18 years old in some places. But modern states must still confront the issue of age when couples claim the status of a married couple when married abroad. For example, less than twenty years after the law was changed in Northern Ireland, the English courts considered Alhaji Mohammed v Knott [1969] 1 QB 1. Here, a Nigerian husband had celebrated an Islamic marriage in Northern Nigeria with a 13 year old girl. Shortly afterwards the couple came to England and where they cohabited. A case was brought under §62 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 claiming that the girl was in need of care, protection, and control, and that she was exposed to moral danger under §2 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963. The Nigerian form of marriage was effected by a simple contract between the parents or legal guardians of the bride and bridegroom. The bridegroom paid a dowry. Sometimes, but not always, the signing of the contract was followed by a religious ceremony and a marriage feast; and the bride was formally handed over to the bridegroom. There was no minimum age for the marriage of a girl, but it was unlawful for the bridegroom to live under the same roof or consummate the marriage until it was clear that the wife was sexually mature, which was conclusively presumed to be not less than the age of 9 and not more than the age of 15. The first instance court held that the girl was exposed to moral danger, and that a continuance of the association between her and the man, notwithstanding the marriage, would be repugnant to "any decent-minded English man or woman". On appeal, the Divisional Court held the marriage was recognized as valid. This and other cases of "child brides", one involving a 12 year old Iranian bride and the other involving a 13 year old Omani bride, caused some controversy in the United Kingdom and the Immigration Rules 1986 were introduced to bar persons under the age of 16 from entering the UK in reliance upon their status as a spouse. Nevertheless, for other purposes, such marriages will be recognized as valid so long as the parties had the relevant capacity under their personal laws and the ceremony was effective under the lex loci celebrationis to create a valid marriage.


In Western cultures, other than the age of consent, the issue of consent is also considered of fundamental importance and, if it is not freely given, it can prevent a valid marriage from ever coming into existence: see nullity. In Islamic law, a nikah contract is not valid if the parties do not consent, although there are differences in juristic opinion about exactly how the consent can be manifested. This supposedly lack of clarity has led some Western cultures to question the general morality of "arranged marriages", often stigmatizing the system as being open to abuse and sometimes leading to forced marriages. In the English case of Szechter v Szechter, Sir Jocelyn Simon P. said that for duress to vitiate a valid marriage, it must be proved that:
* the will of one of the parties had been overborne by a genuine and reasonably held fear;
* this fear was caused by a threat of immediate danger for which the party was not himself or herself responsible, usually amounting to a threat of physical or fatal injury, or false imprisonment.
The test requiring an immediate danger never matched the practical realities facing individuals where the consequences of a refusal to marry might not be immediate, but nevertheless serious. In Hirani v Hirani (1982) 4 FLR 332, the Court of Appeal considered the case of a nineteen year old Hindu woman who was dating a Muslim man. Her parents told the petitioner that unless she married a Hindu of their choosing, she would be ostracized socially from her family and left to fend for herself. Under the circumstances, the Court agreed that the petitioner had acted without full consent in marrying her parents' choice of husband. Thus, it is for the courts of all countries to strike a balance between well-intentioned parental authority to arrange marriages in the face of a reluctant child, and unreasonable threats that would overbear the will of any reasonable person, while maintaining the trust of local communities whose cultures have included arranged marriages for centuries. As to transnational recognition, it will be difficult to disturb the validity of the marriage if no complaint of coercion was made around the time the ceremony was performed in the lex loci celebrationis or immediately the parties entered the state where proceedings were commenced. It would be more usual to use the local divorce system to terminate the relationship.


In Christian cultures, the Biblical proscriptions contained in Leviticus 18 v6-18, are used as the basis for restricting marriage between persons who are deemed to be too closely related to each other. More generally, the restrictions fall into two classes:
* where the parties are related by blood (consanguinity); or
* where parties are related by marriage (affinity).
The limitations based on consanguinity derive from a policy of practical eugenics and reflect the increased possibility that such marriages will produce children with a genetic defect due to the limitations on their combined gene pool. The limitations based on affinity, by contrast, are predominantly legal and social in origin. The rules relating to affinity reflect the need to minimise the prospects of familial jealousies and dysfunction by preventing the intermarriage of people already related by marriage. Difficult questions arise on whether an adopted child may marry his or her adoptive parents, or the natural children of the adoptive parents. No matter what legislative decisions are taken, there will always be citizens who wish to evade the application of the law. There will be no problem if they relocate and establish a matrimonial home in a state that allows their marriage. But any attempt to evade such laws by going through a ceremony in a state that permits the marriage and then returning to the original state (which will usually be their state of domicile, nationality or habitual residence) will fail, and may even expose the couple to the risk of prosecution for incest or an equivalent offense.


Polygamy may be polygyny (one man having more than one wife at the same time) or polyandry (one woman having more than one husband at the same time) and it has been practiced throughout history in almost all cultures, sanctioned by various religions where necessary to meet population or economic needs. For example, when disease, war or famine has reduced populations, the taking of several wives has been the solution to restoring population. In some economically poor areas where infant mortality is high but children are a vital source of labor to maintain the earning capacity of the family, polygamy provides more children. Yet, in more modern times, some Christian states despite the existence of polygyny in the Bible have defined marriage as the union of one man to one woman "to the exclusion of all others" and, in some cases, have criminalized bigamy or, as in Canada, have made polygamy an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under s 293(a), everyone who enters into any form of polygamy or any "conjugal union with more than one person at a time" is guilty of an offense, and under s293(b), there is a separate offense for any person who "celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite that sanctions a polygamous marriage".
Other states refer to the current religious practices within their territories as the test for legal acceptability: for example, the Marriage Law 1974 (no. 1/74) in Indonesia does not prohibit polygamy for those religions that allow it (i.e. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism), but permits it with the consent of the existing wife or wives if:
* there is proof of sufficient financial capacity to maintain all spouses and children;
* there are safeguards that husband will treat his wives and children equally; and
a court is satisfied that there are valid reasons for wishing to contract a polygamous marriage (e.g., that the existing wife is infertile, has an incurable disease, etc).
The issue of consent can be difficult though if the wife is mentally ill.
The converse is to be found in the halakhah and the Talmud where the general principle is that, "a woman cannot be the wife of two [men]" (Kid. 7a and Rashi). For a wife, the term kiddushin implies her exclusive dedication to her husband and there can be no kiddushin between her and another man while the first kiddushin subsists. Any purported marriage to another man is thus formally invalid but, nevertheless, requires a get to terminate it. A married man may celebrate a second marriage (and any others) unless he has specifically undertaken to his first wife, e.g., in the ketubbah, not to do so, or monogamy is the local custom. Thus, Ashkenazic Jews who live in Christian nations accepted a takkanah (a rabbinic law not deriving from the Talmud) banning polygamy in c. 1000 CE, while Sephardic Jews who live in Islamic societies have not followed this law.

Actually polygamous

At the time a secular court considers the validity of this marriage, there are already multiple spouses. In English law, for example, §2 Immigration Act 1988 prohibits certain polygamous wives from exercising their right of abode with the result that any application from such a wife has to be considered in accordance with Paragraphs 278 to 280 of the Immigration Rules, which contain provisions to restrict settlement in most cases to one wife. But, for less controversial purposes, most states are willing to recognise actually polygamous marriages as valid so long as the parties had the capacity to enter into such relationships and the ceremonies were effective under the lex loci celebrationis.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My happiness after marriage

We have enjoyed very good time together for first one week after marriage. He always used to show me that he is very much concerned for my well being and could never see me in pain and I believed in him. I forgot all what he has done before and was trying to be happy with him and adjust and understand him.

My feeling at the time of being a mother

After spending 15 days like this, I return to my native place and joined my job. Then I came to know that I am pregnant and going to be a mother soon. I was happy and at the same time little upset because I do not want to get trapped in motherhood so early because I wanted to spend some quality time together and enjoy married life and understand him so that our coming life can become happier and this cannot be done in this situation in initial stages of marriage. Then we informed him about it and also told him that this is very bad on his part to do it without my willingness as I always used to tell him to be protective but he always forgot about it because of his take it easy attitude and uncaring attitude. One day he called me and said that I have informed my family about your pregnancy so that they do not think that I have brought this child in dowry (i.e. I had a baby before marriage and have given born to this child after marriage). After hearing this I was shocked and thought what kind of person he is, how can he think like this and say to his newly wedded wife. This means he is having doubt on me that may be I had a baby before marriage with someone else and telling him that she is his child. How can this person be so insensitive. But what can be done now, when we are married we have to live together the whole life and try to find happiness with this man. Day by day he has started making me feel sick with him and I started losing respect and love in him. I was feeling very happy about my pregnancy and feeling a baby growing inside me day by day, sometimes suffering and sometimes pleasure in being a mother very soon, but whenever I go for usual checkup, I see people come with their hubby but I have to go with my mummy because he is not here with me. I have always imagined that when I will be pregnant, my husband will take care of my every needs, give me all care and emotional support a woman needs at that time but I was not so lucky to have it and feel those moments of togetherness which remains a memory for the rest of my life. Before a week of my due date, he came to stay with me then also he is eager to have physical intimacy with me which is not at all possible. Then the day has come for which we were waiting for so long. I have got admitted in hospital at night and delivered a sweet baby girl the next day in morning. We all were very happy except my husband because one Baba has told him that he will get a baby boy but here it is a baby girl. Then we make him understand that do not worry whatever it is, he should wish for the well being of the baby and not differential between them because now girl is not at all behind boys. After spending two days in hospital we came back home and then after one week he went back to his home, but I cannot go with him because there is nobody who can take care of me and the baby and its better we should live with my family for 2 or 3 months so that I may be able to take care of the baby alone.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Initial days of marriage

I had taken 1 month leave from my office for marriage so we had little time to spend together and we have to go my husband’s place then return and from there we have to go to Vaishno Devi and return and then again to my husband’s place. I went to my husband brother’s place next night of my marriage by train. All the rituals have been done and I stayed at his home. Next day we plan to go to my husband’s house to live because at this home there is no separate room but my husband has not planned anything there, not even decorated the room because he thought that we will go there next day but we do not have time because next night my family has to come as we have to celebrate reception the other day so we thought today is the only day when we both can spend some time together and know each and understand the feelings. Our first night so horrible which i havenot even imagined in my life and thought that it might have never came in my life. That was very much distressing for me and i even celebrate it as my black day. Then we went out, there he was talking about his pressure from his family at the time of marriage and other things. Then I had also explained about my family situations that this is the first marriage in our family so my parents did not knew much about all the things and have done according to their knowledge and what the relatives have suggested. He showed that he can understand these things and will never blame my parents for the mistakes which he think that they have done but I know they were never wrong in doing anything at the time of marriage, but why to argue with a person who is not even trying to understand anything and justify all his beliefs. So, I thought let it go now as nothing can be done, so we should forget and start a new life together. Again we left for my husband’s home to spend time with him. There he has started doing the same things again and again i.e. every night physical relation without my consent and never tried to make me happy emotionally, I was not happy in having physical relation with him because I always feel that he is only interested in his desires and feelings and has no concern for what I feel about it and what I need.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Interesting and funny "WHAT IS MARRIAGE"

I have received this message, so thought that i should share. I hope you like it.

1. Marriage is not a word. It's a sentence (a life sentence).

2. Marriage is love. Love is blind. Therefore marriage is an institution for the blind.

3. Marriage is an institution in which a man loses his Bachelor's Degree and the woman gets her masters.

4. Marriage is a three-ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering.

5. Married life is full of excitement and frustration: In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the NEIGHBOUR listens.

6. Getting married is very much like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want, and when you see what the other person has, you wish you had ordered that instead.

7. There was this man who muttered a few words in the church and found himself married. A year later he muttered something in his sleep and found himself divorced.

8. A happy marriage is a matter of giving and taking; the husband gives and the wife takes.

9. Son: How much does it cost to get married, Dad? Father: I don't know son, I'm still paying for it.

10. Son: Is it true Dad? I heard that in ancient China, a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her. Father: That happens everywhere, son, EVERYWHERE!

11. Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

12. They say that when a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it is love; after marriage it is self-defense.

13. When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a 10-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.

14. There was this lover who said that he would go through hell for her. They got married, and now he is going through HELL.

15. Confucius says: man who sinks into woman's arm soon has arms in woman's sink.

16. When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

17. Eighty percent of married man cheat in America, the rest cheat in Europe.

18. After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin. They just can't face each other, but still they stay together.

19. Marriage is man and a woman become one. The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

20. Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After the marriage the "Y" becomes silent.

21. I married Miss right; I just didn't know her first name was Always.

22. It's not true that married men live longer than single men it only seems longer.

23. Losing a wife can be hard. In my case, it was almost impossible.


25. WIFE: Let's go out and have some fun tonight. HUSBAND: OK, but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway lights on.

26. At a cocktail party, one woman said to another: AREN'T YOU WEARING YOUR RING ON THE WRONG FINGER? The other replied, YES, I, AM. I MARRIED THE WRONG MAN.

27. Man is incomplete until he gets married, then he is finished.

28. It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.

29. A man inserted an ad in the paper - WIFE WANTED. The next day he received a hundred letters and they all said the same thing - YOU CAN HAVE MINE.

30. When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing - either the car is new or the wife is.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Pic: A woodcut of a medieval wedding ceremony from Germany

Marriage of some kind exists in nearly every society. Except in societies where post-marital residence is traditionally matrilocal, patrilocal, or avunculocal, married people typically form a household, which is most often a subsequently extended biologically, through children. Among Western cultures, the nuclear family emerged during the late medieval period. ost non-Western societies have a broader definition of family that includes an extended family network. Marriage is the sole mechanism for the creation of affinal ties (in-laws).

Although the institution of marriage pre-dates reliable recorded history, many cultures have legends or religious beliefs concerning the origins of marriage.

In Britain
Marriage remains relevant as the union that socially sanctions a sexual relationship. In the law of England and Wales, children whose parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth were known as bastards. They were considered illegitimate, meaning they usually could not inherit wealth or title. This has also applied to children who were born inside a marriage which was then annulled; the two daughters of Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I, were declared illegitimate after their father annulled the marriages that they had been born into.
In Catholicism, the Council of Trent made the validity of marriage dependent upon its being performed before a priest and two witnesses. The Council also authorized a Catechism, issued in 1566, which defined marriage as, "The conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life."

Marriage has changed throughout the history of Europe, in the 1200's in England it was unlawful for a woman younger than 24 years to marry but this changed in the beginning of the 1500's to 20 years of age.

In the Middle Ages the Church only allowed divorce for consanguinity and adultery but during the reformation, Luther and others made marriage a civil institution instead of a sacramental one. This made way for the right of women to divorce their husbands for his faults such as impotence.

In the United Kingdom, the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 was a statute passed by Parliament that removed the prohibition forbidding a man to marry the sister of his deceased wife.

European monogamy
European culture and the cultures of the Americas, so far as they descend from it, have for the most part defined themselves as monogamous cultures. This partially stemmed from Christianity, Germanic cultural traditions [verification needed] and the mandate of Roman Law. However, Roman Law permitted prostitution, concubinage, and sexual access to slaves. The Christian West formally banned these practices with laws against adultery, fornication, and other relationships outside a monogamous, lifelong covenant.

Arranged marriage

Pic: An arranged marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain

A pragmatic (or 'arranged') marriage is facilitated by formal procedures of family or group politics. A responsible authority sets up or encourages the marriage; they may, indeed, engage a professional matchmaker to find a suitable spouse for an unmarried person. The authority figure could be parents, family, a religious official, or a group consensus.

In some cases, the authority figure may choose a match for purposes other than marital harmony. Some of the most popular uses of arranged marriage are for dowry or immigration.
Though now a rarity in Western countries, arranged marriages in countries such as India are widely prevalent even today. In illiterate villages, marriage of a child often has much to do with family property; parents adopt the practice of child marriage and arrange the wedding sometimes even before the child is born (though this practice was made illegal by Child Marriage Restraint Act of the Indian Government). In urban India, people use thriving institutions known as Marriage Bureaus or a Matrimonials Sites, where candidates register themselves for a small fee.

A related form of pragmatic marriage, sometimes called a marriage of convenience, involves immigration laws. According to one publisher of information about "green card" marriages, "Every year over 450,000 thousand United States citizens marry foreign-born individuals and petition for them to obtain a permanent residency (Green Card) in the United States."While this is likely an over-estimate, in 2003 alone 184,741 immigrants were admitted to the U.S. as spouses of U.S. citizens.