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Different Societal Institutions Such as the Family, Government and Religion Essay

Different societal institutions such as the family, government and religion, have been seen to have an impact on marriage. The government plays a role in marriage and mate selection when divorce raises issues. Not only does the government play a role in marriage and mate selection, religion also raises conflict for married couples, such as where and how a couple may get married, and if the religion supports the legal issue of divorce. Lastly, family plays a important role in marriage and mate selection through the way their children are raised since people tend to marry people who share similar beliefs and values.

The societal institution such as the government, have been seen to have an impact on marriage such as divorce and cohabitation when legal rights come into force. When a divorce happens between couples, the legal issues will give you rights to things such as child support-if you have children, property division and spousal support. Both parents are forced into supporting their family financially in the legal rights called child support. If you and the other parent do not live together, you must split the costs of caring for your child.

In most cases, child support is paid until the child can be dependent until the age of 18. However, if the child choses to get married or leave home under the age of 18, they are no longer considered dependent. Now you must be wondering how much child support will cost an individual. The costs may vary depending on the province you are currently living in. This is called the “Child Support Guidelines”. Many factors are involved in deciding how much child support is paid such as gross income, and how many dependent children the parent with physical custody is supporting.

Furthermore, when you apply for child support, the court is entitled to know information about both spouses’ finances. This is known as financial disclosure. Did you know that in Ontario you must be at least 18 years old to get married? Since that in Canada it is a law that you cannot marry another person if you are already married, also known as polygamy, divorce becomes a legal issue. The Divorce Act and the process of getting a divorce remains the same all over Canada. First, you or your spouse must apply for a divorce in court.

When you are applying for a divorce, you must be able to demonstrate that the marriage has broken-down. The most common situations that the court sees is that you and your spouse have been separated for at least a year by living in separate housing, if you or your partner committed infidelity, or if the marriage is abusive that it is no longer safe to live with each other. Functionalist might say that divorce is dysfunctional in society since it goes against the norm in marriage where it states that two people are united until “death do you part”.

The societal institution such as religion, have been seen to have an impact on marriage such as same sex marriages and the ceremonies people have when they get married. There are many types of marriages that you can have as we witnessed in the film, “Get Him to the Greek”, where the family wanted a religious ceremony performed by a religious organization listed in the Marriage Act. In contrast, some couples prefer a civil ceremony that is performed by a judge, justice of the peace, city clerk or someone else who is licenced to perform marriages.

Divorce also brings religious barriers to remarriage. Some religions do not believe in divorce and say that you cannot get remarried in a religious ceremony. Furthermore, religion can have a barrier on same-sex marriage. Some religions consider same-sex marriages to be abnormal, so it can be tough for the family to accept that their son or daughter is gay or lesbian. Family acceptance is important to the individual’s self, and if the individual’s family does not accept a part of who they are, they might feel disowned and a loss of self-worth, which leads to conflict in the relationship.

Family plays a role in marriage and mate selection through the way they raise their children for the reason that people tend to marry people who share similar beliefs and values. Martin Whyte’s study of dating and marriage mentions that marital success can be determined. He mentions in his study that the dating experience was not a predictor of success, enduring married couples had several characteristics in common, which are having similar values, enjoying similar leisure time activities, pooling their incomes, sharing in power and decision making in their relationship, having friends in common and having an active social life together. Whyte, 2001)

Family has an impact on people’s beliefs and values, how they spend their leisure time, and their social life. System theorists agree that families have an impact on marriage and mate selection of their children because the system theory can help explain issues seen in an individual such as social issues by looking at how they were raised. Different societal institutions present may challenges for married couples.

Many factors from divorce amongst all the legal issues associated with it, to religion beliefs, of when and how a couple gets married and the family acceptance of same-sex marriages. Last of all, factors of exactly how an individual is raised by their family plays a significant role in marriage and mate selection and Martin Whyte explains. All three of the different societal institutions play a significant role in determining the success of the couple’s relationship.

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