Economic impediments in marriage include poverty, the high cost of divorce and possible nullity, and general class consciousness or caste system based on economic possessions. The latter impediment is a traditional reason for refusing marriage. Economic hardship is aggravated by the fact that if a couple cohabits instead of marrying they may lose social benefits and legal protection.
Class consciousness regarding marriage prevails everywhere but is more noticeable in traditional or tribal communities (mainly in Asia and Africa) where marriages are arranged and where a bride price or dowry must be paid. Polygamy is restricted in Muslim and African tribal society by economic considerations. Cohabitation and illegitimate children are widespread in Latin America because of poverty and lack of education. In the UK in 1993, it was claimed that there are fewer weddings because of the expected high costs. In India, it is a combination of high cost and dowry that limits marriage. The high cost of divorce is a most notable impediment in 'Western' industrialized countries to second marriages.