Marriage and divorce proceedings also were surprisingly progressive, even in comparison to today's Western standards. The most common family unit consisted of a husband and wife, the husband's widowed mother and unwed sisters. When the time came for weddings, the government and temples fulfilled no function, and the affairs remained private, relatively casual events. Nevertheless, the unions often resulted from agreements between the husband and the brides' parents [source: Johnson ]. Before tying the knot, premarital sex was socially acceptable, and divorce was neither difficult to attain nor uncommon [source: Brewer and Teeter ]. When a couple split up, the law didn't leave the woman high and dry, either: Divorced women took their dowry and any property they owned with them.