Four in ten couples believe that marriage is becoming obsolete, according to a recent survey conducted in the US.
More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a happy family, reports the Daily Mail.
A poll by the Pew Research Centre in conjunction with Time magazine highlights the rapidly changing notions of the American family.
According to their report, nearly one in three American children are living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never married - a five-fold increase from 1960.
Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married.
Within those two groups, a sizable chunk - 6 percent - has parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.
About 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows US census data that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.
In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.
When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agreed that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description.
But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of 5 people said a same-sex couple with children was a family.
"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University.
"Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them," he added.
The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults aged 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do.
Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.
But economic factors, too, are playing a role. The Census Bureau recently reported that opposite-sex unmarried couples living together jumped 13 percent this year to 7.5 million.
It was a sharp one-year increase that analysts largely attributed to people unwilling to make long-term marriage commitments in the face of persistent unemployment.
Still, the study indicates that marriage isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Despite a growing view that marriage may not be necessary, 67 percent of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family.
And about half of all currently unmarried adults, 46 percent, say they want to get married. Among those unmarried who are living with a partner, the share rises to 64 percent.