Recent observations have suggested that circumstellar disks may commonly form around young stellar objects. Although the formation of circumstellar disks can be a natural result of the conservation of angular momentum in the parent cloud, theoretical studies instead show disk formation to be difficult from dense molecular cores magnetized to a realistic level, owing to efficient magnetic braking that transports a large fraction of the angular momentum away from the circumstellar region. We review recent progress in the formation and early evolution of disks around young stellar objects of both low-mass and high-mass, with an emphasis on mechanisms that may bridge the gap between observation and theory, including non-ideal MHD effects and asymmetric perturbations in the collapsing core (e.g., magnetic field misalignment and turbulence). We also address the associated processes of outflow launching and the formation of multiple systems, and discuss possible implications in properties of protoplanetary disks.
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