Marriage

*up to date as per dec 2011-Klindhh*

What a Su'ndari marriage is all about

A contract of marriage is an agreement for a wife and husband to produce a certain number of legal heirs. Whilst love matches do occur they are the exception rather than the rule. Marriage is viewed as being a powerful political force as it produces a limited contract of blood between two families.

It is usual for the woman to join the man's family and for the children to be split between the two birth families. The only circumstances where a man leaves his family for the woman's are where there are no males of her line or where his family has an excess of males which leaves them unable to support so many couples. The partners always share the same surname.

It is also sometimes common for a Matriarch and Patriarch of one particular family to have their legitimate members marry within their own family. This is usually not a problem if the bride and groom to be are cousins or another kind of distant relative. Marriages between siblings is not something that has been common place since the Empire abolished the nobility. The citizen's general view of incest is that it was this "Imperial behaviour" that resulted in much of the degenerative behavior that led to the imperial line being removed from power.

The Brideprice

A brideprice is a transfer of funds as part of the marriage contract. Whilst there is no legal requirement that a brideprice occur there is a social requirement. The brideprice is paid to the Brides family to compensate for the temporary or permanent loss of an individual. Legal skill and the page on Brideprice Calculation will help you determine how much the Brideprice is likely to be but the Magisters have the final say.

The Ceremony

After an appropriate courtship or betrothal period the wedding will take place. Weddings are lavish events attended by both families. They are described in detail on the wedding ceremony page.

Legal Position

Women and Men are legally considered to be equals within a marriage. The earliest age at which someone may marry is sixteen.

Fidelity

Within a marriage both partners are expect to remain faithful so as to ensure that the children are produced. Since the entire purpose of a marriage is to guarantee the paternity of a child adultery before the completion of the quota is considered an extremely serious matter and in this situation a woman and her children are likely to be returned to her birth family, with a shameful divorce, with all children considered to be bastards. After the contract has been fulfilled (the required number of children have been provided) the situation does not change. The couple simply gain the ability to divorce should both individuals agree.

"An Illegitimate Child is as much good as half a bow"

Divorce

There are two types of divorce: Shameful and blameless. Sometimes a divorce may be shameful for one partner and blameless for the other. It is explained in more detail on the divorce page.

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