Journal Article

Marriage, cohabitation and the residential independence of young people in Spain

C Tobío

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 15, issue 1, pages 68-87
Published in print April 2001 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 2001 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/15.1.68
Marriage, cohabitation and the residential independence of young people in Spain

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Cohabitation in Spain is low compared to most European countries. However, this cannot be explained by marriage being an alternative choice. The younger generation of Spaniards is increasingly delaying residential independence, a majority staying with their families of origin until they are well into their thirties. Recent empirical evidence shows that social perceptions towards cohabitation are quite positive. Only a minority of the population considers it unacceptable. The legal context is also rapidly changing, especially as a result of the pressure of homosexual organizations. Looking towards the future, the question that arises is whether there is a common trend towards increasing cohabitation throughout Europe. In the Spanish case some of the main factors which explain late residential autonomy seem to be changing quickly, while others remain an obstacle to the formation of new families, whether through cohabitation or marriage.

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Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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