Marriage. The old clans were presumably exogamous, and today exogamic restrictions apply to second cousins. Traditionally, chiefly polygyny occurred, but this ended with Christianization and modern Kosraens are so rigorously Monogamous that divorce is extremely uncommon. In modern times people choose their own spouses, although parental approval is always sought and remains almost essential. Newly married couples frequently live alternately with both sets of parents for a year or more until they build a house of their own, ideally on the land of the husband if he has sufficient land and if Relations with his kin are amiable. The bond between husband and wife creates new affinal relationships and binds the two sets of kin with mutual obligations of economic and social support.
Domestic Unit. Nuclear families are statistically the most common living group, but a variety of domestic arrangements occur. Children normally live with their biological parents, but this is complicated by high rates of adoption, which in the 1970s reached 25 percent in one village. A middle-aged couple with married offspring may have one or more of their Children's family living with them temporarily or for long periods. Occasionally, brothers will live together with their families for short periods or even semipermanently. Elderly couples may live alone or with one of their children, according to familial circumstances.
Inheritance. In modern times, inheritance of real property is determined by a will—ideally, a written one—left by the owner, who usually attempts to provide all his male children with land suitable for the cultivation of various crops. With population growth, fragmentation of parcels often makes this impossible. Disputes among potential heirs are common, caused often by the fact that a man favors some of his Children over others.
Socialization. Due to the large average family size and the fact that relatives usually live close by, young children grow up in a nurturing atmosphere. Infants are coddled by young and old alike. Although there is variation, physical punishment occurs from the age of 2, and verbal scolding is Common. Children begin to perform simple household tasks such as sweeping and fetching as early as age 3 or 4. Girls help their mothers extensively with washing and other chores once they reach the age of 9 or 10. Boys accompany their fathers and older brothers to gardens at similarly young ages, and in fact today much of the harvesting of gardens is done by teen-aged boys, partly because their fathers are so often employed for wages.