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[Source: “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015: Mongolia,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U. Department of State] The wedding, which was a contractual agreement between families rather than a religious ceremony, was marked by celebratory feasting that brought together as many of the relatives of the bride and the groom as the families could afford to feed.
Some version of this custom survived in the countryside in the 1980s, as did the practice of the bride's moving to reside in the camp of her husband's family, which traditionally provided a new ger for the bridal couple.
Herders tended to marry herders, and young professionals married young professionals. There were 5.6 marriages and 0.3 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants in 1980 and 6.3 marriages and 0.3 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants in 1985.
Mongolian fiction described disparities between the educational level of spouses or the unwillingness of husbands to accept the demands of their wives' jobs as sources of marital strain.
Divorced women secured alimony payments under the family law, which details rights and responsibilities regarding alimony and parenting.
The former husband and wife evenly divide property and assets acquired during their marriage.
In terms of celebrated events, weddings have traditionally been given more importance than births or deaths.
The messages and ensuing negotiations are often conducted in verse.
Today herders and peasants tend to marry when they are in their early twenties, urbanites on their late 20s and early 30s. Marriage was generally arranged by parents, or local feudal lords as in the case of the western grasslands, with costly betrothal gifts demanded.
Before weddings, Buddhist scriptures would be chanted and heavenly protection sought.
Levirate marriages in which a widow marries her husband's brother is an old tradition among Mongolians.
It was developed to make sure the widow was looked after.
Urban weddings sometimes were celebrated in special wedding palaces.