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Avoiding legal marriage?

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  • conniebird
    replied
    I'm an attending so the financial aspect is real. For the above and other reasons I stand to lose over 20k a year by getting married. Not small change when I'm trying to pick away at loans. I want them paid off in 5 years but might take longer. My partner has been married before and lost a TON of money in the divorce. He's actually ok with whatever I'm comfortable with. Not saying we will never get married legally - but we may defer it until I'm more caught up financially. I'm an older new attending and way behind in retirement savings along with a high students loan burden. We plan on having a wedding next year.

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  • Hatton
    replied
    I totally understand what you are saying conniebird.  For the high net worth female marriage is a mixed picture.  I definitely pay more tax after marriage.  I think you might want to do it because you want a child.  I think calling yourself wife or husband if the spouse is in a life or death situation would allow you to make decisions.  Who checks for the marriage license?

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  • YSH
    replied
    There was a similar discussion on another professional forum recently. In summary, someone asked if it was an good idea to "paper divorce" in order to obtain similar financial benefits you mentioned above.  Needless to say, it generated many comments; some pragmatic, some emotional. There was one comment that someone posted which did stick out. In summary, comment stated that if you are not married, your partner would not be your next of kin in any situation. In the event of any medical decision making or end of life issues, he/she would not have priority. Of course, you can write a will or advanced directive and address that issue, but I think the fact that one is legally someone's spouse makes it clear and simple.  I thought about that comment and about the chance that I or my spouse would ever be in that situation.  And if we were, I 100% would want my spouse to be the one making those final choices for me and vise versa.  I would never forgive myself if the only reason I wouldn't be the one calling the shots for my spouse, and instead it would be my in laws making them, is because I was too unwilling to let go of some money.

    Personally, I married my spouse when we were both dirt poor. Through our years together (18 years), there were years where Wife made more money and then there were similar length of time where Husband out earned the wife significantly.  Then, there are years where we made about equal amounts.  I truly believe in my marriage, and I believe that my spouse married me irrelevant to what I actually brought home in terms of dollar amount.  To be perfectly honest, in any dual profession marriage (each has an advanced degree/ skills) and where both partners contribute earnestly to the union, both partners can have high earning potential (potential being key word). What actually happens may vary.

    I don't have any actual advice for you and I am not passing judgement on what you and your partner decide to do. But I can say as someone who is in a dual profession and dual income marriage, both of us are willing to forgo that monetarily benefit for the sake of being legally attached to each other.  Maybe it was because we were young, naive and didn't know better when we sign the marriage certificate. Who knows? But I wouldn't change a thing (going on 12 years of marriage).

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  • conniebird
    started a topic Avoiding legal marriage?

    Avoiding legal marriage?

    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.
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