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Avoiding legal marriage?

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  • #16
    Another +1 for delaying legal marriage - stepkids. Yes, technically new spouse income should not be counted, but it CAN, depending on the state. Basically can show that dad/mom can pay more in support since they are now married and have more resources as a unit. Have seen some sticky situations where the ex asks for an up tick in child support when a new marriage happens.

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    • #17




      Not a women’s issue per se but with female physicians and a partner that makes a comparable income – how many of you have thought about NOT getting legally married. I really don’t see the benefits and if anything there are many penalties – marriage tax penalty, getting phased out of certain deductions, possible AMT, and in the event of a divorce losing possibly half of your assets and owing alimony.

      I don’t see that not getting legally married affects commitment – since people get divorced anyway. One can still have an actual wedding and vows, no one will be the wiser. You can still buy property and have both names on the deed and on the mortgage.

      I know a few high earning couples that are not legally married for the reasons above, and plan on getting married once they retire. Sure, it can backfire and someone can die and you won’t get their Social Security, but will you really need it anyway? It’s not much.

      Curious if anyone else has thought about this, I am seriously considering not getting legally married, as it would bump us both up to the next tax bracket and phase aside a certain deductions.

      Seems like a lot of the posters here, and I mean no disrespect, have stay at home wife’s which are not as or affected by this.
      Click to expand...


      While the financial facts you point out are correct, I think it is really sad to see marriage looked at as only a financial contract when my personal/religious/spiritual/whatever views are that it is so much more.

      I get an email about once a month asking the same question. The bottom line is that yes, there is a huge marriage tax penalty when both partners are huge earners.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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      • #18







        Not a women’s issue per se but with female physicians and a partner that makes a comparable income – how many of you have thought about NOT getting legally married. I really don’t see the benefits and if anything there are many penalties – marriage tax penalty, getting phased out of certain deductions, possible AMT, and in the event of a divorce losing possibly half of your assets and owing alimony.

        I don’t see that not getting legally married affects commitment – since people get divorced anyway. One can still have an actual wedding and vows, no one will be the wiser. You can still buy property and have both names on the deed and on the mortgage.

        I know a few high earning couples that are not legally married for the reasons above, and plan on getting married once they retire. Sure, it can backfire and someone can die and you won’t get their Social Security, but will you really need it anyway? It’s not much.

        Curious if anyone else has thought about this, I am seriously considering not getting legally married, as it would bump us both up to the next tax bracket and phase aside a certain deductions.

        Seems like a lot of the posters here, and I mean no disrespect, have stay at home wife’s which are not as or affected by this.
        Click to expand…


        While the financial facts you point out are correct, I think it is really sad to see marriage looked at as only a financial contract when my personal/religious/spiritual/whatever views are that it is so much more.

        I get an email about once a month asking the same question. The bottom line is that yes, there is a huge marriage tax penalty when both partners are huge earners.
        Click to expand...


        Not sure if you read through all the posts Jim, the additional taxes are $20K a year (~20% of my student loans...)  (because I will be moving into a city which city taxes too) + potential problems with an ex (child support).

        I def do not see marriage as only a financial contract but legal marriage is just a piece of paper. I have seen (not hearsay, actual women who remarried divorced men with kids) horror stories of exes taking exes to court over and over again for silly things (trying to get more child support when an ex hears there is a re-marriage to a "wealthy" partner). These court proceedings cost one female doc and her new partner over 200K. So this isn't just a simple decision.

        Right now, we are thinking of delaying only until his son no longer requires child support - his son gets plenty and is well taken care of. We do not want to deal with paying tens of thousands in court fees should the ex drag us to court. I'd also pay off my student loans 5 years quicker by delaying marriage. For a couple that is late to the savings game, that 20K is significant.

        This topic seems to hit a nerve with some folks, particularly religious ones. My fiance and I are 100% committed to each other and will likely have a wedding dinner next year. Or whatever people feel more comfortable calling it.

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        • #19
          I understand your concerns conniebird.  Marriage is a financial contract.  Not everyone marries their high school sweetie and lives happily ever after.  I think that you are wise to consider all the financial impact.  There is no right answer that applies to all couples.  My office nurse has been back in court when her ex found out she married a chemical engineer.

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