Divorce and Marriage

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Andymoler58
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Divorce and Marriage

Post by Andymoler58 » Sat May 16, 2015 11:31 pm

I am 33 and unmarried and single but I see divorce as the one major potential threat down the road to achieving my long term financial goals. Legal fees and splitting everything in half sounds awful.

So I'm always fascinated and interested in learning from others that have gone through a divorce. Is it something where you just made an error in judgement when you initially selected your mate? Or did the relationship just deteriorate over time due to the two people changing?

If you are in a good marriage, how do you make a successful marriage work with all of the different things going on like kids and careers? What are some key things to look for in the other person?

Things that concern me and things I try to avoid in a potential mate are:

Health Issues - I run into girls that have aches and pains already in their 20's. That sounds like it would lead to problems that I would rather avoid.
Financial Issues - What if the girl accuses me of being a cheapo since I prefer to invest my money instead of spending it?

It's a very personal question and they don't teach this to you in school. I think lawyers and jewelers would be outraged if it was taught in school.

But I think it's a valuable discussion that could help a lot of people avoid some costly mistakes.

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Sents
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by Sents » Sat May 16, 2015 11:53 pm

I've never been married but I have been in some semi long-term relationships (>5 years). Here are my 2 cents.

Health issues: In my opinion, if you love someone then you should be with them and support them regardless of health issues. If health issues are a non-starter for you, then so be it.

Financial issues: If someone accuses you of being cheap and you can't come to financial agreements, don't marry them. You should be on the same financial page as your partner before getting married --- financial issues are one of the top reasons for divorce.

Successful relationships are about compromise and being open and understanding with each other. It is very hard to change someone, so make sure you date long enough to build a solid foundation before diving in the deep end (aka putting a ring on it). Don't let the little things bother you, don't scoff at your partner's ideas, and be supportive whenever you can be. Don't be too nit picky or overly criticize their actions (they are your partner afterall!). You need to keep calm, understanding, and cool to make relationships last for extremely long times. There is no magic formula.

PS: If you are worried about divorcing someone, don't marry them in the first place. Also, a pre-nupital agreement could help, but many people on this board don't recommend it for various reasons.
Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the divine. | L. Beethoven

2comma
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by 2comma » Sun May 17, 2015 1:00 am

The best quote I ever found is that "men marry a girl and hope she stays the way she is forever and women marry a man and hope they can mold him into the man of her dreams".

My second best quote is "you can't fix someone". We both certainly brought our fair share of baggage to the marriage.

Well, since you find it fascinating here is one story...

I think she had an idea at a young age of how her life would be. I increasing felt that I was an actor but wasn't following the "script", I eventually decided I didn't like where the story would take me. She was probably more willing than me to continue on no matter what, we were both brought up thinking that a failed marriage was the worst. I started looking at other stories. We rarely fought but neither was happy.

Eventually, I found the right one. This time there is no script. We both understand each other and we make each other laugh - we just enjoy each other's company. I'm still not sure how much I changed, some I'm sure, but my second partner is very different, knew how to handle my BS I guess.

A bad marriage is no fun, especially at the end but if you luck out and find the right one it is well worth the effort - and you might even save a little on taxes!
If I am stupid I will pay.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun May 17, 2015 1:24 am

Andymoler58 wrote:If you are in a good marriage, how do you make a successful marriage work with all of the different things going on like kids and careers? What are some key things to look for in the other person?

Things that concern me and things I try to avoid in a potential mate are:

Health Issues - I run into girls that have aches and pains already in their 20's. That sounds like it would lead to problems that I would rather avoid.
The marriage has to be more important to you than pretty much anything else or it probably won't work out for decades.

I have a friend with a wife with a chronic disease, very expensive, often debilitating. It has limited his life in very significant ways- career choice, job choice, lifestyle choice, # of children etc. While I would never leave my wife if she became ill, I was/am probably too selfish to deliberately marry someone with major health issues.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

dgdevil
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by dgdevil » Sun May 17, 2015 1:47 am

Andymoler58 wrote:
Health Issues - I run into girls that have aches and pains already in their 20's. That sounds like it would lead to problems that I would rather avoid.
Interesting observation. Care to expand? Overdoing it at yoga, or the polite Gen-Y equivalent of ¨Not tonight, I have a headache.¨ My wife - your age - works out like a fiend. I sometimes worry about consequences down the road. Thankfully, there's a pill for most things these days.

I think we tend to overthink the big picture. You are smart enough to know what you don't want. But how do you zero in on the one you do want? She is possibly hovering in your wider professional circle right now, espousing similar hopes and values.

navyasw02
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by navyasw02 » Sun May 17, 2015 3:01 am

I was married for 6 years and now divorced. I've always been a saver and my goal is to retire early. My ex wife and I never discussed finances or investment strategies or money while dating. After marrying my now ex wife, I cosigned her student loans thinking that as a married couple it would lead to her finishing her degree and over time providing a better income for her/us. I saw it as an investment, but my ex didnt understand the implications of what that debt meant and how to manage the debt and income during the period of the loan and it ballooned to an ungodly amount. Ultimately it drove a wedge between us and was the major cause of our divorce. I've gotten past the point of finding fault or being angry, and I've moved on after paying off this mountain of debt.

My lesson from all this is find those major issues to you, things that you absolutely must have in life and find a partner who is in absolute agreement with you. These issues could be finance, health, how to deal with aging parents, religion, kids, or what kind of toilet paper you use and make sure you have those hard conversations. Go one step further and observe how the other person acts and deals with the challenges of life and see if you are ok with their choices. Go another step farther and ask yourself if you become disabled and require someone else to take care of you and everything you believe in, could this person do it? Find a partner, not just a husband/wife. Find a partner and you wont have to worry about divorce or money or the future.

The Wizard
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by The Wizard » Sun May 17, 2015 3:21 am

Its a tough topic.
I got divorced after 22 years of marriage at the ex's request.
I'm not going to pretend I have any idea how to make things work.

Money wise, it's better to have a spouse who is gainfully employed within a factor of two of where you are. This makes alimony less likely if there's a split.
Assets get split 50/50 in a divorce, so allow for that is your thinking. For instance, the two of you are not millionaires until your combined financial assets total $2M.

Good luck...
Attempted new signature...

rtom
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by rtom » Sun May 17, 2015 3:33 am

Sents wrote: PS: If you are worried about divorcing someone, don't marry them in the first place. Also, a pre-nupital agreement could help, but many people on this board don't recommend it for various reasons.
What is wrong with a pre nip?

RonF
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by RonF » Sun May 17, 2015 3:59 am

Andymoler58 wrote:I am 33 and unmarried and single but I see divorce as the one major potential threat down the road to achieving my long term financial goals. Legal fees and splitting everything in half sounds awful.

So I'm always fascinated and interested in learning from others that have gone through a divorce. Is it something where you just made an error in judgement when you initially selected your mate? Or did the relationship just deteriorate over time due to the two people changing?

If you are in a good marriage, how do you make a successful marriage work with all of the different things going on like kids and careers? What are some key things to look for in the other person?

Things that concern me and things I try to avoid in a potential mate are:

Health Issues - I run into girls that have aches and pains already in their 20's. That sounds like it would lead to problems that I would rather avoid.
Financial Issues - What if the girl accuses me of being a cheapo since I prefer to invest my money instead of spending it?
I wouldn't read too much into aches and pains. Any man or woman that regularly engages in strenuous physical activity (running, biking, etc.) is likely to have aches and pains. A better indicator of long-term health is the health of the person's parents and grandparents.

If you are concerned about financial issues, then make it a priority to find a spouse with an income and/or finances that are as good or better than yours.

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max12377
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by max12377 » Sun May 17, 2015 5:09 am

rtom wrote:
Sents wrote: PS: If you are worried about divorcing someone, don't marry them in the first place. Also, a pre-nupital agreement could help, but many people on this board don't recommend it for various reasons.
What is wrong with a pre nip?
Perhaps a pre-nip in lieu of a pre-nup :beer

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sun May 17, 2015 6:06 am

OK lets treat it simply as an investment decision.
NB there is no way to index a marriage. You are putting everything you are investing into into one volatile investment

Marriages exist on a continuum from "mutual soul-mates" to "two barely connected autonomous people"

MS-----------------------------------------------------BCAP

Sometimes a marriage changes from one place on the continuum to the another.
People on the left ride out a tremendous market decline because they believe in "staying the course". They have faith and hope in the partnership
People on the right Bail out quick if the market goes sour since they have confidence in their judgment and know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

Only you can say what kind of marriage you want or need or deserve . But it is critical to be self aware and to be on the same page as your partner. Are you creating a partnership where you invest in the partnership or are you buying companion services.?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxmz3RcNNBE


My 40th wedding anniversary is coming up. I married a brilliant talented wonderful woman who is now completely disabled and needs me as a caretaker. We are on the left end

SQRT
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by SQRT » Sun May 17, 2015 6:13 am

I got married too young at 23. The marriage lasted for almost 20 years but ended in an extremely bitter divorce when I was 42. Litigation lasted for 15 years and as you would expect was very expensive. She got virtually all the joint assets when we split other than my ability to earn a very good salary.
My net woth was negative at 42 but with a lot of luck and hard work I rebuilt it over the 5 subsequent years, all the while paying ever increasing alimony and child support. A final settlement wasn't reached until after I retired.

End result: I was able to keep a great relationship with my daughter, my X has financial security through the large alimony I pay her until her death, and I have been very happily married to a wonderful woman for over 20 years. I was able to retire at 56 and enjoy a very well funded retirement.

Divorce is almost always a terrible emotional and usually expensive experience to be avoided if possible. But in the end people change and happiness is you most important goal, so sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on. Prenups don't work very well for most people for their first marriage. All you can really do is LBYM and try to defer marriage till you find someone who shares your values, especially financial values.

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gasman
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by gasman » Sun May 17, 2015 6:32 am

2comma wrote:The best quote I ever found is that "men marry a girl and hope she stays the way she is forever and women marry a man and hope they can mold him into the man of her dreams".

!
You forgot the second half of the quote. The woman changes and the man doesn't. :happy

Call_Me_Op
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun May 17, 2015 6:36 am

As someone who is not married (a couple of very long relationships, however), but who has observed two successful marriages that lasted over 50 years (my parents and grandparents), the key is to see divorce as a non-option. I am afraid that with the changed attitudes today, I think you take a huge chance when you get married. I really see no way around viewing it this way, especially if you plan to have children. You need to love the person enough - and have enough confidence in the relationship - to be willing to put it all on the line. That includes the chance that one of you will get sick and need the other to be a caretaker.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun May 17, 2015 6:46 am

2comma wrote:The best quote I ever found is that "men marry a girl and hope she stays the way she is forever and women marry a man and hope they can mold him into the man of her dreams".

I've heard this as:

Women marry a man, thinking that he will change.....and he doesn't.
Men marry a woman, thinking that she won't change....and she does.

I have no advice for someone going into marriage (been married 29 years). I can't figure out women, but I have figured out a response to the question: "does this make me look fat?".

answer: swing around and look out the nearest window and shout: "Look....an alligator" and quickly leave the room.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

greenfire
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by greenfire » Sun May 17, 2015 7:24 am

My 2 cents: marriage is a commitment. Be careful before you make that commitment. Someone who is a good earner could become disabled. Someone who is healthy can become sick. Someone who is brilliant can get dementia. Make sure the person is your friend, first. Lust and libido can cloud the picture. There are legitimate reasons to divorce someone - don't stay in an abusive relationship - or, if someone has a serious drug or alcohol problem - even though you made a commitment, you need to get into self-preservation mode. Most important quality in a mate is that you share the same values.

basspond
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by basspond » Sun May 17, 2015 7:50 am

Marriage isn't a word, it is a sentence,

You can have many things in common and in love but the overlooked thing is commitment. Just like your investments, marriage is made of life long decisions. Focus on the end not the immediate satisfaction avenue. People are different embrace the qualities you don't have that your spouse has can really strengthen your marriage. But most of all be ready to swallow your pride.

jrmillions
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by jrmillions » Sun May 17, 2015 9:34 am

Money issues are the number 1 reason for divorce. You have better have the same financial goals. Look at how they treat money today. Action speaks louder than words.
Also, you need to have the same values such as faith and family. If one partner wants a family and the other doesn't, it is going to be a strain on the marriage
Be honest with yourself and your partner early in the relationship.
It also probably helps to have the same interests like exercise, camping, etc. But what if one loses interest in that activity or becomes disabled?
In the end, marriage can be a risk but rewarding. Just don't do it because you feel pressured and don't rush it.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun May 17, 2015 10:10 am

Wife and I are about to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We have one kid. Overall, it's been a smooth ten years with relatively few issues. We do have conflicts but we agree on the big things and that helps greatly. I think sharing similar values is paramount, whether it's about money, health, parenting, religion, etc.

Since money can often put strain on a relationship, I think it's important that both people value each more than material possesions. Spending time together helps as well since it's harder to grow apart. I'm a big fan of quantity over quality in the case of time together. I'd much rather have dinner and conversation with my family each day than an amazing two-week vacation once a year that I have to work endless hours to be able to afford. My wife and I each work less than many people we know. We're still able to save plenty by minimizing expenses. Buying less stuff and having more time has been a great trade off and has helped our marriage. However, neither of us is materialistic. Sharing that value was very important to me because I think I'd have had a hard time making it work with someone who felt differently.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun May 17, 2015 10:13 am

I like what Prof. Emeritus said and I think marrying your best friend and being mutually committed to each other are key.

My two cents:

It is important to have mutual goals that you iron out together beforehand. The big issues to be on the same page about are kids, finances, extended family, and religion. Also, will she be there for you if your health fails, or some other life calamity befalls you? Or will she walk away? Will you be there for her for better or worse?

I married someone who I thought was really funny and very interesting and more than 20 years later he's still my favorite person to spend time with. He also turned out to be a great father and husband and puts our family above all else, but there was no way I could have known these things or guaranteed things would work out the way they did. Making a lifetime commitment to another person carries risks and you can only control your half of the equation. This aspect of risk is why they call it "taking the plunge."

randomguy
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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by randomguy » Sun May 17, 2015 11:27 am

Andymoler58 wrote:I am 33 and unmarried and single but I see divorce as the one major potential threat down the road to achieving my long term financial goals. Legal fees and splitting everything in half sounds awful.
On the other hand it is one of the best ways to get financial stability. Thinking about cutting you expenses in 1/3 and doubling your assets (you don't have to marry someone that makes less money and has less assets. You could choose to trade off things like looks for financial success:)).

If you look at divorces they range from things like that were always problems but you over looked, new things (i.e. partner decides they are gay), and to things in between. The people that don't get divorced think it is all skill (picked someone with similiar interests and values, married my best friend,...). The ones that get divorced think it is bad luck (who knew she would go crazy or that he would stop spending money on me). Reality is always a mixture. Things like have a special needs kid drastically ups the divorce rate (I have seen numbers up around 80-90%). That isn't something that can be predicated. You can try and tilt the odds in your favor but in the end it is always going to be somewhat of a gamble.

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Re: Divorce and Marriage

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 17, 2015 12:38 pm

The OP is asking about relationships, not finances. While personal finances are certainly impacted, that's not the intent of the question and is therefore off-topic. This thread has run its course and is locked. See: Forum Policy
Personal Finance

This subforum is for personal financial issues that don't involve investments. Examples of acceptable topics are:

- insurance
- employment issues
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- mortgage and loan issues
- legal issues that have a financial component like wills and pre-nuptial agreements

Note that topics must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) financial life. General comments or complaints about these topics will be removed.
Based on prior experience, this thread will soon devolve into contentious disagreements.

Update: Revised reason for lock.
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