Nearly everyone knows about the transformation of the American family that has taken place over the last couple of decades. The changes comprise one of the great events of our age-from the latter half of the 1970's into the present. Articles on one aspect or another of the phenomenon frequent the popular press, and a special edition of Newsweek was recently devoted to the topic. The traditional "Leave It To Beaver" family no longer prevails in American marriage behavior. To be sure, the wage-earning husband, the homemaking and child-rearing wife, and their two joint children-this type of family still exists. But because divorce rates are high and remarriage abounds, many married couples have or will end life having children from prior marriages on one or both sides. Families are routinely headed by two adults working outside the home, or by a single parent. Unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples, sometimes with children, are also unmistakable parts of the American family scene.
Waggoner, Lawrence W. "Spousal Probate Rights in a Multiple-Marriage Society." Record Assoc. B. City N. Y. 45, no. 3 (1990): 339-78.