The changing face of marriage

Authored by: Marsha Garrison

Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640404
eBook ISBN: 9780203796221
Adobe ISBN: 9781134447534

10.4324/9780203796221.ch1_1

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Abstract

Across the industrialized world, young adults are marrying later and increasing numbers may not marry at all. 1 Although marriage has declined in some regions more than others, the trend away from marriage seems to be universal. Even in the United States, which has long had one of the highest marriage rates among industrialized nations, a 2011 survey found that barely 50 per cent of American adults were married—a record low. 2 In many nations, almost half of marriages end in divorce. And, increasingly, couples choose to live together before or as an alternative to marriage. Except in Asia, the proportion of children born outside marriage has also skyrocketed. 3

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