Divorce [financial implications]

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Twins Fan
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Re: Divorce

Post by Twins Fan »

You guys should read the thread instead of just continuing your own argument. :wink:

The OP is trying to avoid lawyers since they are trying to turn things around and avoid divorce now.
GoldenFinch
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Re: Divorce

Post by GoldenFinch »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Toons wrote:"Time Heals All Wounds" :happy
The nasty scars are all that remain as a momento, right?
The "scars" are reminders of the reality of the past and hopefully a reminder to look forward and move on.
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HomerJ
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Re: Divorce

Post by HomerJ »

vas wrote:This is academic, but it's interesting how many times the 50/50 split came up. It seems so fair doesn't it. Regardless of the specific situation, starting net worth, relative participation in savings and discretionary spending, future income potential, etc. Somehow, the assets just ooze about and level off during a marriage.
Everything else oozes together in a close partnership like a marriage.

50/50 is fair... If you want to track all the spending, income, savings, etc. from each party, then it's only fair to track who loved the other spouse more, gave more backrubs, made the other spouse laugh the most. Who took the kids to the park or the doctor the most? Which partner read the most bed-time stories to the kids and imparted the most wisdom? Heck, who cleaned the house more or emptied the dishwasher more?

Money made before the marriage, probably could be kept separate... Money made during the marriage should always be split 50/50. Doesn't matter if one partner made 90% of it, or saved the most. It's supposed to be a complete partnership.
AZAttorney11
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Re: Divorce

Post by AZAttorney11 »

HomerJ wrote:Everything else oozes together in a close partnership like a marriage.

50/50 is fair... If you want to track all the spending, income, savings, etc. from each party, then it's only fair to track who loved the other spouse more, gave more backrubs, made the other spouse laugh the most. Who took the kids to the park or the doctor the most? Which partner read the most bed-time stories to the kids and imparted the most wisdom? Heck, who cleaned the house more or emptied the dishwasher more?

Money made before the marriage, probably could be kept separate... Money made during the marriage should always be split 50/50. Doesn't matter if one partner made 90% of it, or saved the most. It's supposed to be a complete partnership.
Your wife makes more money than you, doesn't she? :sharebeer
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Divorce

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

GoldenFinch wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Toons wrote:"Time Heals All Wounds" :happy
The nasty scars are all that remain as a momento, right?
The "scars" are reminders of the reality of the past and hopefully a reminder to look forward and move on.
You say it as if one needs them........ :oops:
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
GoldenFinch
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Re: Divorce

Post by GoldenFinch »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Toons wrote:"Time Heals All Wounds" :happy
The nasty scars are all that remain as a momento, right?
The "scars" are reminders of the reality of the past and hopefully a reminder to look forward and move on.
You say it as if one needs them........ :oops:
Not at all. Just reality. Acceptance and moving on.
denovo
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Re: Divorce

Post by denovo »

I am saving this thread for next time the topic of pre-nups come up.
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Toons
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Re: Divorce

Post by Toons »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Toons wrote:"Time Heals All Wounds" :happy
The nasty scars are all that remain as a momento, right?
No scars whatsoever,,,My ex of 35 years ago and I have put it all behind us ,we are the best of friends now.
Life is short,Forgive
:happy
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riptide
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Re: Divorce

Post by riptide »

I also am trying to stay married to my wife like the OP and want to avoid lawyers. We can both be kind and do a separation agreement and agree on things. We can use mediation.

Questions I have are : We both own our primary house. It is just 2 years old, so still very new. I was told I could sell it and divide the equity, or keep it and buy my wife out, give her the total amount of equity from sale. I cringe at this because it would be around $90,000 equity to divide in half. We have been married 5 1/2 years.

Secondly, I own a townhome , but it was mine before we married, and I was told it would remain all mine. I have renters there now.

Last, which also troubles me, I work for the federal government and have TSP and pension. I was told my wife of 5 1/2 years would take 1/2 my gains from TSP for the last 5 years! This is terrible! My gains were nearly $70,000!
A portion of my pension would also be given for 5 years, but this is not as bad.

My children , whom I love very much , I would pay child support. They are young nearly 2 and 4 years old.
We would have joint custody.

My wife is a stay at home mother, (with a at home part time job, making very little, but could grow) so I would pay alimony too.

Like the OP, we are trying to stay married, and going to counseling. I just don't know if we will make it.

Also, my inheritance in my broker account is only in my name and will remain mine. It will be left to my children. I also have 529 plans for both my children already.
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bcjb
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Re: Divorce

Post by bcjb »

riptide wrote:I also am trying to stay married to my wife like the OP and want to avoid lawyers. We can both be kind and do a separation agreement and agree on things. We can use mediation.

Questions I have are : We both own our primary house. It is just 2 years old, so still very new. I was told I could sell it and divide the equity, or keep it and buy my wife out, give her the total amount of equity from sale. I cringe at this because it would be around $90,000 equity to divide in half. We have been married 5 1/2 years.

Secondly, I own a townhome , but it was mine before we married, and I was told it would remain all mine. I have renters there now.

Last, which also troubles me, I work for the federal government and have TSP and pension. I was told my wife of 5 1/2 years would take 1/2 my gains from TSP for the last 5 years! This is terrible! My gains were nearly $70,000!
A portion of my pension would also be given for 5 years, but this is not as bad.

My children , whom I love very much , I would pay child support. They are young nearly 2 and 4 years old.
We would have joint custody.

My wife is a stay at home mother, (with a at home part time job, making very little, but could grow) so I would pay alimony too.

Like the OP, we are trying to stay married, and going to counseling. I just don't know if we will make it.

Also, my inheritance in my broker account is only in my name and will remain mine. It will be left to my children. I also have 529 plans for both my children already.
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this, but I wonder why you're so shocked at having to share gains in the TSP plan. Presumably, both of you decided that she would stay home and you would work. Why would it be terrible to have to share these gains 50:50 (of the past 5 1/2 years)?

Of course, I hope it won't come to that and you'll be able to stay married.
randomguy
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Re: Divorce

Post by randomguy »

bcjb wrote: I'm sorry to hear you're going through this, but I wonder why you're so shocked at having to share gains in the TSP plan. Presumably, both of you decided that she would stay home and you would work. Why would it be terrible to have to share these gains 50:50 (of the past 5 1/2 years)?

Of course, I hope it won't come to that and you'll be able to stay married.
It depends on if the gains are on premaritial property or not. If you had 100k before marriage and it is now worth 170k, the spouse in general (definitely not familiar with all states) isn't entitled to it. Now if you start a job and contribute for 5 years and have 70k of gains, the spouse should expect half the contributions and half the gains. And when you comingle funds the situation gets extra fun:)
JimmyJammy
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Re: Divorce

Post by JimmyJammy »

I'm married and hope I never experience a divorce, but I try to manage and track individual and joint finances carefully just in case my domestic bliss ever goes south.

What I have never understood is why people lose (or give away) assets that rightfully belong to them in a divorce.

Can't all this financial pain be avoided by careful money management during a marriage?

For example:
My wife and I each have our own accounts and our own investments.
AND, we have a joint account to which we contribute EQUAL amounts of money every month that go to towards things we enjoy together: the mortgage for the house, groceries, cable TV, dining out, and travel. And that's IT.

If we, god forbid, got a divorce, I don't understand why we would need a lawyer or why un-mingling our assets would be hard. The joint account is funded month to month; we would simply make our last contributions to it, and close it down.

The only difficult thing to handle would be the house. But, we live in a town where it would probably take 3 months or less to sell – time enough to see a marriage counselor and make sure this is something we want to do.

So, if finances are handled in this manner, in a household where each partner works and contributes equal amounts of money to a joint account, how is this something that requires paying gobs of money to lawyers and then feeling fleeced afterwards?
HopeToGolf
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Re: Divorce

Post by HopeToGolf »

JimmyJammy wrote:I'm married and hope I never experience a divorce, but I try to manage and track individual and joint finances carefully just in case my domestic bliss ever goes south.

What I have never understood is why people lose (or give away) assets that rightfully belong to them in a divorce.

Can't all this financial pain be avoided by careful money management during a marriage?

For example:
My wife and I each have our own accounts and our own investments.
AND, we have a joint account to which we contribute EQUAL amounts of money every month that go to towards things we enjoy together: the mortgage for the house, groceries, cable TV, dining out, and travel. And that's IT.

If we, god forbid, got a divorce, I don't understand why we would need a lawyer or why un-mingling our assets would be hard. The joint account is funded month to month; we would simply make our last contributions to it, and close it down.

The only difficult thing to handle would be the house. But, we live in a town where it would probably take 3 months or less to sell – time enough to see a marriage counselor and make sure this is something we want to do.

So, if finances are handled in this manner, in a household where each partner works and contributes equal amounts of money to a joint account, how is this something that requires paying gobs of money to lawyers and then feeling fleeced afterwards?
That sounds good but I do not think it works that way. Your math may work if you make the same amount of money, otherwise,One might ht say she is entitled to a portion of the money you have in the separate accounts In a divorce some states treat what you both earn as a pot of money and regardless of the complex accounting you do to separate it, they do u it up.
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8foot7
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Re: Divorce

Post by 8foot7 »

General thoughts. I went through a divorce.

We separated in summer of 2010. In my state there is a one year waiting period before a divorce can be granted. It took an additional year and 3 months after the initial year waiting period to even get the divorce (the financials and child custody were still pending) because of grandstanding and my ex-wife's choice of attorney. This attorney decided a marriage that lasted four years was worth two rounds of discovery, three rounds of mediation, and endless motions to delay and extend due to various stupid factors--my ex-wife was not working and I was supporting her during this time so obviously the incentive was to keep the gravy train rolling as long as possible. I had a kind gentle attorney that I originally retained who I kept on for too long because he sort of tolerated this nonsense. He left his law practice abruptly and I was forced to find another attorney, so I chose a hotshot who intimidates other lawyers and said, end this. now.

In the end everything ended up settled in February 2014, nearly four years after it started, and the settlement was exactly what I had offered in summer 2010 -- 50/50 of everything except the house which was mine before we were married but less all the money I had to withdraw/spend to give to her and my attorney during those four years. The settlement was cut and pasted out of our initial offer letter. I kept telling her the whole time, there's not magically more money at the end of this rainbow; the pie is only getting smaller. She didn't listen. I'm so glad it's over but she's not totally out of my life as we have a son of course.

So for all of those who say get your best offer on the table, work everything out before the lawyers, treat it as a business transaction, etc -- just understand that (a) it takes two to tango and (b) it's unreasonably easy to drag the process out, especially in the south with a child involved.
Twins Fan
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Re: Divorce

Post by Twins Fan »

riptide wrote:I also am trying to stay married to my wife like the OP and want to avoid lawyers. We can both be kind and do a separation agreement and agree on things. We can use mediation.

Questions I have are : We both own our primary house. It is just 2 years old, so still very new. I was told I could sell it and divide the equity, or keep it and buy my wife out, give her the total amount of equity from sale. I cringe at this because it would be around $90,000 equity to divide in half. We have been married 5 1/2 years.

Secondly, I own a townhome , but it was mine before we married, and I was told it would remain all mine. I have renters there now.

Last, which also troubles me, I work for the federal government and have TSP and pension. I was told my wife of 5 1/2 years would take 1/2 my gains from TSP for the last 5 years! This is terrible! My gains were nearly $70,000!
A portion of my pension would also be given for 5 years, but this is not as bad.

My children , whom I love very much , I would pay child support. They are young nearly 2 and 4 years old.
We would have joint custody.

My wife is a stay at home mother, (with a at home part time job, making very little, but could grow) so I would pay alimony too.

Like the OP, we are trying to stay married, and going to counseling. I just don't know if we will make it.

Also, my inheritance in my broker account is only in my name and will remain mine. It will be left to my children. I also have 529 plans for both my children already.
So, you're the sole income provider and everything is yours.... I can't see why you're getting divorced. :) I kid, but your post reeks of "all mine".

You say you both own the primary home, but you cringe at splitting the equity??

I don't think you have been married long enough for her to get any of your pension. But, that could depend on state law and employer rules? I don't know for sure there.

Child support, yep you will pay it. Alimony, yep you will pay it.

Welcome to divorce land, if you guys can't save it. As I like to say in these threads, and people think investing is risky, huh? :D
Twins Fan
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Re: Divorce

Post by Twins Fan »

JimmyJammy wrote:What I have never understood is why people lose (or give away) assets that rightfully belong to them in a divorce.
Sometimes one has to pick their battles... simple as that.
JimmyJammy wrote:Can't all this financial pain be avoided by careful money management during a marriage?

For example:
My wife and I each have our own accounts and our own investments.
AND, we have a joint account to which we contribute EQUAL amounts of money every month that go to towards things we enjoy together: the mortgage for the house, groceries, cable TV, dining out, and travel. And that's IT.

If we, god forbid, got a divorce, I don't understand why we would need a lawyer or why un-mingling our assets would be hard. The joint account is funded month to month; we would simply make our last contributions to it, and close it down.

The only difficult thing to handle would be the house. But, we live in a town where it would probably take 3 months or less to sell – time enough to see a marriage counselor and make sure this is something we want to do.

So, if finances are handled in this manner, in a household where each partner works and contributes equal amounts of money to a joint account, how is this something that requires paying gobs of money to lawyers and then feeling fleeced afterwards?
Sounds great and if both parties were agreeable in a divorce here it would work out just fine.

There are many monkey wrenches that could be thrown into your plan though and it could turn ugly in a hurry. If one half or the other wants to get greedy, any divorce can turn ugly.
Barefootgirl
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Re: Divorce

Post by Barefootgirl »

What I have never understood is why people lose (or give away) assets that rightfully belong to them in a divorce

This reminds me of the old expression: "Why is divorce so expensive? because sometimes it's just worth it".

A co-worker mentioned the other day that she will not be out of debt for three more years. She had to take a loan against her 401k to pay off her ex-husband in the divorce (he stopped working while they were married) To avoid paying alimony, she agreed to pay off his school loans.

Hardly seems fair to me, but she feels that was a good price to pay to get rid of him.

Lots of wisdom in these divorce threads.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Divorce

Post by SmileyFace »

JimmyJammy wrote: What I have never understood is why people lose (or give away) assets that rightfully belong to them in a divorce.
Because in most states - all the assets rightfully belong to BOTH parties - not one person or another. Based upon you post - sounds like you would have gone for a prenuptial agreement assuring you came out whole if things went south.

There has been a lot of good discussion here - I think a lot of the alternative views deal with disagreements on the basic premise of marriage - if it is a contract where everything is combined and is meant to last forever then there is no concept of his/hers ownership once the marriage contract in entered. Of course various state laws vary - showing that various state governments don't agree on what the premise of marriage should be either.
JimmyJammy
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Re: Divorce

Post by JimmyJammy »

Maybe I should have looked more carefully at the fine print of the marriage contract before going through with it. :)

I have a friend who's a judge who does divorce cases and he much prefers that the couples work out the percentage split themselves because his determination feels arbitrary in contrast.

Know anyone who's gotten a post-nuptial agreement? I bet that's a hard thing to pull off.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Divorce

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

8foot7 wrote:General thoughts. I went through a divorce.

So for all of those who say get your best offer on the table, work everything out before the lawyers, treat it as a business transaction, etc -- just understand that (a) it takes two to tango and (b) it's unreasonably easy to drag the process out, especially in the south with a child involved.
No different in the Northeast. It takes forever, especially if the other party doesn't want to come to the dance floor in a reasonable manner.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
UADM
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Re: Divorce

Post by UADM »

Twins Fan wrote:
riptide wrote:I also am trying to stay married to my wife like the OP and want to avoid lawyers. We can both be kind and do a separation agreement and agree on things. We can use mediation.

Questions I have are : We both own our primary house. It is just 2 years old, so still very new. I was told I could sell it and divide the equity, or keep it and buy my wife out, give her the total amount of equity from sale. I cringe at this because it would be around $90,000 equity to divide in half. We have been married 5 1/2 years.

Secondly, I own a townhome , but it was mine before we married, and I was told it would remain all mine. I have renters there now.

Last, which also troubles me, I work for the federal government and have TSP and pension. I was told my wife of 5 1/2 years would take 1/2 my gains from TSP for the last 5 years! This is terrible! My gains were nearly $70,000!
A portion of my pension would also be given for 5 years, but this is not as bad.

My children , whom I love very much , I would pay child support. They are young nearly 2 and 4 years old.
We would have joint custody.

My wife is a stay at home mother, (with a at home part time job, making very little, but could grow) so I would pay alimony too.

Like the OP, we are trying to stay married, and going to counseling. I just don't know if we will make it.

Also, my inheritance in my broker account is only in my name and will remain mine. It will be left to my children. I also have 529 plans for both my children already.
So, you're the sole income provider and everything is yours.... I can't see why you're getting divorced. :) I kid, but your post reeks of "all mine".

You say you both own the primary home, but you cringe at splitting the equity??

I don't think you have been married long enough for her to get any of your pension. But, that could depend on state law and employer rules? I don't know for sure there.

Child support, yep you will pay it. Alimony, yep you will pay it.

Welcome to divorce land, if you guys can't save it. As I like to say in these threads, and people think investing is risky, huh? :D
In some states, like NJ for example, Alimony isn't even considered until the marriage has been 10 years long.
Twins Fan
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Twins Fan »

Really? It's interesting how different this stuff can be state to state.
sesq
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by sesq »

Twins Fan wrote:Really? It's interesting how different this stuff can be state to state.
There are people who move to jurisdiction shop the alimony rules. Establish residency (six month to a year), then drop the bomb.
InvestInLife
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by InvestInLife »

I have a slightly different take, in that I was on the receiving end of a hostile divorce, and lawyers were a must. The collaborative/single lawyer/mediation approach was suggested at one point, but there was nothing about my wife's approach that was oriented toward mediation or working anything out, and she made it clear she was coming for the money at the exact moment we hit our lifetime savings goal of half a million. Assets were divided in half due to legal precedence, even though I earned twice what she earned, so splitting it 50/50 was like winning the lottery for her.

Family lawyers are not CPA's, and didn't understand some of the finer points of our assets, such as tax liability for 401k's, who pays property tax on a shared home during separation, etc. My spouse avoided her share of some of these smaller points after the fact even with lawyers involved. So pay attention to the details. I would also add, being generous and throwing in extras doesn't help, but only feeds the monster, if that's what you happen to be up against.

As far as re-earning a windfall loss, I never will. Those years of earnings are lost forever. In terms of net worth, it's more like sequence of return loss than "losing" hundreds of thousands in a market drop, knowing that someday it will "bounce back."

As for going through that again? Never! Lesson learned, tuition paid. Whoever wrote "stay single" gets it. Marriage is not what it used to be; it's an utterly disposable luxury status with immense volatility. For a high wage earner, or anyone willing to work hard to grow their potential, it is a liability. More like putting 50% of your entire portfolio into a single pink sheet stock. Bitcoin would be a far sounder investment. If you are a producer rather than a consumer, it's better to remain single and play the market.
Dottie57
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Dottie57 »

All the posts make me glad of single-hood.

I have several girlfriends who lost a lot in divorce from their now ex. Neither are re-married. If they ever do remarry they will be doing pre-nups.
MikeG62
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by MikeG62 »

It depends on who you marry. DW and I have been happily married for 30 years now. Many on these boards married far longer than us.

I would not throw in the towel on marriage based on one bad experience (or the experiences of some others you know). However, if burned once before, a pre-nup might not be a bad idea at least to cover the risk of your being separated from your hard-earned money a second time.
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THY4373
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by THY4373 »

InvestInLife wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:51 pm I have a slightly different take, in that I was on the receiving end of a hostile divorce, and lawyers were a must. The collaborative/single lawyer/mediation approach was suggested at one point, but there was nothing about my wife's approach that was oriented toward mediation or working anything out, and she made it clear she was coming for the money at the exact moment we hit our lifetime savings goal of half a million. Assets were divided in half due to legal precedence, even though I earned twice what she earned, so splitting it 50/50 was like winning the lottery for her.

Family lawyers are not CPA's, and didn't understand some of the finer points of our assets, such as tax liability for 401k's, who pays property tax on a shared home during separation, etc. My spouse avoided her share of some of these smaller points after the fact even with lawyers involved. So pay attention to the details. I would also add, being generous and throwing in extras doesn't help, but only feeds the monster, if that's what you happen to be up against.
I am surprised you are surprised honestly that marital assets are generally split 50ish/50ish irrespective of who earned them in the marriage. I knew that much going into my marriage though I had at the time given zero thought to divorce, prenup or anything else.

On the second point without a doubt the best money my ex and I spent on divorce was a neutral financial adviser who did all the number crunching on the split. She was financially smarter than the lawyers, cheaper and we only had to pay her once (versus two opposing lawyers both doing the math).
Sam1
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Sam1 »

InvestInLife wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:51 pm I have a slightly different take, in that I was on the receiving end of a hostile divorce, and lawyers were a must. The collaborative/single lawyer/mediation approach was suggested at one point, but there was nothing about my wife's approach that was oriented toward mediation or working anything out, and she made it clear she was coming for the money at the exact moment we hit our lifetime savings goal of half a million. Assets were divided in half due to legal precedence, even though I earned twice what she earned, so splitting it 50/50 was like winning the lottery for her.

Family lawyers are not CPA's, and didn't understand some of the finer points of our assets, such as tax liability for 401k's, who pays property tax on a shared home during separation, etc. My spouse avoided her share of some of these smaller points after the fact even with lawyers involved. So pay attention to the details. I would also add, being generous and throwing in extras doesn't help, but only feeds the monster, if that's what you happen to be up against.

As far as re-earning a windfall loss, I never will. Those years of earnings are lost forever. In terms of net worth, it's more like sequence of return loss than "losing" hundreds of thousands in a market drop, knowing that someday it will "bounce back."

As for going through that again? Never! Lesson learned, tuition paid. Whoever wrote "stay single" gets it. Marriage is not what it used to be; it's an utterly disposable luxury status with immense volatility. For a high wage earner, or anyone willing to work hard to grow their potential, it is a liability. More like putting 50% of your entire portfolio into a single pink sheet stock. Bitcoin would be a far sounder investment. If you are a producer rather than a consumer, it's better to remain single and play the market.
I take it you weren’t married to another high wage earner. My spouse and I are both high earners. We are a team and set on growing old and rich together. I don’t find our marriage risky at all.
gazelle1991
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by gazelle1991 »

I am curious since the prenup suggestion has appeared multiple times. What does a prenup do that a normal divorce proceeding wouldn't? I often heard that a prenup has a lot of rules and regulations to be able to hold up in court, so even if you have one, if the other party is unreasonable and decide to fight the prenup, the contentious proceeding still isn't avoided. In addition, can a prenup specify division of marital assets (even though inequitable?) or does it only cover premarital assets? If the latter then seems like it'd be the same without a prenup where premarital assets should be kept separate and marital assets should be divided equitably. If prenup covers division of future earnings, what if one party changes their mind later. Seems like agreeing to something that hasn't existed is on shaky ground (like custody before you even have kids).
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by core4portfolio »

I never been divorced but seen my nephew went through. When spouse is a homemaker, obviously other person will be earning on all these years. During divorce, why are you pointing he/ she was not working on all these years ? Your spouse might be taking care of home and/or kids...might be left job to take care of growing kids.....I couldnt get that logic on blaming a homemaker for not earning a penny for married x years....
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Dottie57 »

gazelle1991 wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:35 pm I am curious since the prenup suggestion has appeared multiple times. What does a prenup do that a normal divorce proceeding wouldn't? I often heard that a prenup has a lot of rules and regulations to be able to hold up in court, so even if you have one, if the other party is unreasonable and decide to fight the prenup, the contentious proceeding still isn't avoided. In addition, can a prenup specify division of marital assets (even though inequitable?) or does it only cover premarital assets? If the latter then seems like it'd be the same without a prenup where premarital assets should be kept separate and marital assets should be divided equitably. If prenup covers division of future earnings, what if one party changes their mind later. Seems like agreeing to something that hasn't existed is on shaky ground (like custody before you even have kids).
A good prenup will standup in court.

A had a friend whose husband kept starting businesses that the went bankrupt. The bankruptcies were all personal and dragged her name into it. If there had been a prenup or post nup stating that each owned their own debt she would have been better off. The pity is that her now ex had good ideas, but he could not control his spending.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by mrspock »

core4portfolio wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:08 pm I never been divorced but seen my nephew went through. When spouse is a homemaker, obviously other person will be earning on all these years. During divorce, why are you pointing he/ she was not working on all these years ? Your spouse might be taking care of home and/or kids...might be left job to take care of growing kids.....I couldnt get that logic on blaming a homemaker for not earning a penny for married x years....
I think if you marry, go in knowing one of you will be a full time homemaker, you shouldn’t be surprised when the judge cuts everything down the middle and assigns alimony. Completely agree.

The trickier situation is when one partner out earns the other and/or perhaps comes in with more assets. We all don’t get to fall in love with equal earners, and rejecting a partner because they don’t make as much is not very reasonable. What then? Prenup? Avoid marriage? Not many good options.

The best I’ve come up with is to talk to my partner and understand her expectations of me in the event she (or I) woke up one day and wanted to end it all. Of course there’s a big difference between that and having it in writing in a prenup...
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by ausgenf »

I just went through a divorce. My ex wanted a quick out to pursue another relationship and I convinced her to go through mediation with a single lawyer to speed up the process (I wanted to keep legal costs low and drama to a minimum, and I wanted to move on quickly as well). A 4-hour session with the lawyer was enough to iron out the terms of the divorce (no kids, no debt, mid 7-figures in assets to split). We filed the paperwork the next day with the court. A judge signed off on it 30 days later (the minimum waiting period in Alabama). We spent a total of $1,300 for the mediation lawyer, the court filing fee, and the quit claim deed for the house.

Still, it is an adjustment financially. We both mostly live off our portfolio and our individual standard of living has suffered as we no longer share expenses.

It takes 2 people to get married but only one to get divorced. And it is so easy to get divorced nowadays that I no longer see the point of getting married.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by black jack »

MikeG62 wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:34 pm It depends on who you marry. DW and I have been happily married for 30 years now. Many on these boards married far longer than us.

I would not throw in the towel on marriage based on one bad experience (or the experiences of some others you know). However, if burned once before, a pre-nup might not be a bad idea at least to cover the risk of your being separated from your hard-earned money a second time.
The problem is that you don't really know who you've married, or what kinds of experiences each of you will undergo and be changed by, when you choose the person you're going to marry. If you're lucky, you have a long and happy marriage "til death do you part." If you're not lucky, you learn things about your spouse that you didn't know before. For example, that mid-life crises are a real thing, and don't only happen to men.

My wife and I had been happily married (or so it seemed) for 19 years when some disagreements surfaced; I wanted to work on them, she decided she didn't, and four months after our 19th anniversary she told me she wanted a divorce. I have a friend whose wife told him she wanted a divorce after 31 years of what he thought was a happy marriage. You may well have been happily married for 30 years, but that's no guarantee that you'll still be married five years from now (but I sincerely hope that you are).

Financially speaking, you might liken marriage to investing half of your income in a single stock. If you picked a good stock, everything will turn out well. But you won't know if you chose Apple, Kodak, or Enron until the end. And the caveat applied to investments applies to marriage too: "past performance is no guarantee of future results."
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by TomatoTomahto »

core4portfolio wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:08 pm I never been divorced but seen my nephew went through. When spouse is a homemaker, obviously other person will be earning on all these years. During divorce, why are you pointing he/ she was not working on all these years ? Your spouse might be taking care of home and/or kids...might be left job to take care of growing kids.....I couldnt get that logic on blaming a homemaker for not earning a penny for married x years....
I am surprised that there are posts here that portray the income as belonging to the “earner” rather than the couple.

My first marriage was a disaster, but assets were split 50/50, as they should be.

I’ve been with my wife for almost a quarter century, the majority of that time as a SAHD (thank you you, core4portfolio, btw, for writing “he/she”). I earned good money before we agreed that I’d stay home with the kids. How fair would it be, were we to divorce, that I would get bupkis? I offered advice, managed our portfolio, made it possible for my wife to take business trips when she needed to, did all the paperwork/taxes/etc. I’m shocked at the antediluvian tone of some of the posts.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by The Wizard »

ausgenf wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:02 am ...It takes 2 people to get married but only one to get divorced. And it is so easy to get divorced nowadays that I no longer see the point of getting married.
Well stated...
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by LarryAllen »

InvestInLife wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:51 pm I have a slightly different take, in that I was on the receiving end of a hostile divorce, and lawyers were a must. The collaborative/single lawyer/mediation approach was suggested at one point, but there was nothing about my wife's approach that was oriented toward mediation or working anything out, and she made it clear she was coming for the money at the exact moment we hit our lifetime savings goal of half a million. Assets were divided in half due to legal precedence, even though I earned twice what she earned, so splitting it 50/50 was like winning the lottery for her.

Family lawyers are not CPA's, and didn't understand some of the finer points of our assets, such as tax liability for 401k's, who pays property tax on a shared home during separation, etc. My spouse avoided her share of some of these smaller points after the fact even with lawyers involved. So pay attention to the details. I would also add, being generous and throwing in extras doesn't help, but only feeds the monster, if that's what you happen to be up against.

As far as re-earning a windfall loss, I never will. Those years of earnings are lost forever. In terms of net worth, it's more like sequence of return loss than "losing" hundreds of thousands in a market drop, knowing that someday it will "bounce back."

As for going through that again? Never! Lesson learned, tuition paid. Whoever wrote "stay single" gets it. Marriage is not what it used to be; it's an utterly disposable luxury status with immense volatility. For a high wage earner, or anyone willing to work hard to grow their potential, it is a liability. More like putting 50% of your entire portfolio into a single pink sheet stock. Bitcoin would be a far sounder investment. If you are a producer rather than a consumer, it's better to remain single and play the market.

In most states, I believe, the 50/50 rule is pretty well established. I make $500-600k and my wife makes zero but I would be a fool for suggesting she hasn't contributed to our success. If we got divorced it would suck but she gets 50% of marital assets. It's only fair.

It's too bad you have had such a bad experience as it sounds like you are a bit jaded now. Maybe I live in fairy-tale land but so far (20 years) it's been great to be married to my best friend. I hope it continues.

Good luck to us all.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by deltaneutral83 »

gazelle1991 wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:35 pm I am curious since the prenup suggestion has appeared multiple times. What does a prenup do that a normal divorce proceeding wouldn't? I often heard that a prenup has a lot of rules and regulations to be able to hold up in court, so even if you have one, if the other party is unreasonable and decide to fight the prenup, the contentious proceeding still isn't avoided. In addition, can a prenup specify division of marital assets (even though inequitable?) or does it only cover premarital assets? If the latter then seems like it'd be the same without a prenup where premarital assets should be kept separate and marital assets should be divided equitably. If prenup covers division of future earnings, what if one party changes their mind later. Seems like agreeing to something that hasn't existed is on shaky ground (like custody before you even have kids).
I have no idea, and it may be state to state, but if someone brings a taxable account (just for simplicity sake, not an IRA/401k) of say $300k all in US TSM, and a house with $200K of equity, and then get's married and divorced 15 years later(regardless of assets acquired in the 15 year marriage jointly, and let's assume those are split nice and neat), I don't think the earnings and growth on both sets of assets are protected without a prenupt. In fact, I am not even sure basic inflation is baked into protection without a prenupt. Someone with experience can chime in, and as mentioned, could be state to state. TSM with a CAGR of 9% would have the account at almost $1.1M 15 years later and half the gains (half of $800k) would presumably be up for grabs so you can see how this would be a reasonable issue to figure out beforehand.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by LarryAllen »

As to pre-nups I believe you can agree to almost anything in them. That is you clearly state what assets each party has before marriage and, presumably, that those assets and the growth remain the separate property of each. You could probably negotiate away spousal support if there was a divorce. I have seen documents that provide the "poor" spouse a cash payout depending on how long the marriage was (i.e. $25k for one year and $100k for 10 years or some such thing). You might be able to negotiate away child support payments but that might not be allowed due to public policy concerns. Pre-nups are an area you want to go to a high level expert and not use an internet form. Lots of ways to mess it up!
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by THY4373 »

Sam1 wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:00 pm I take it you weren’t married to another high wage earner. My spouse and I are both high earners. We are a team and set on growing old and rich together. I don’t find our marriage risky at all.
Easy to say until you have gone through a divorce. Sounds exactly like my marriage (16 years) up until I realized it wasn't working (I was the one who initiated us getting counseling and eventually I was the one who said I was done with the marriage though my now ex-spouse wasn't far behind me on making a similar decision). That said since my ex and I pretty much earned similar amounts and saved a lot we are both doing just fine. My wealth trajectory is largely what it would have been if I had remained single. So you are right in that marrying somebody who earns similar to you reduces the financial risk quite a bit especially if both of you act like mature individuals through the divorce (which unfortunately is not guaranteed).
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by snowman »

black jack wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:33 am
MikeG62 wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:34 pm It depends on who you marry. DW and I have been happily married for 30 years now. Many on these boards married far longer than us.

I would not throw in the towel on marriage based on one bad experience (or the experiences of some others you know). However, if burned once before, a pre-nup might not be a bad idea at least to cover the risk of your being separated from your hard-earned money a second time.
The problem is that you don't really know who you've married, or what kinds of experiences each of you will undergo and be changed by, when you choose the person you're going to marry. If you're lucky, you have a long and happy marriage "til death do you part." If you're not lucky, you learn things about your spouse that you didn't know before. For example, that mid-life crises are a real thing, and don't only happen to men.

My wife and I had been happily married (or so it seemed) for 19 years when some disagreements surfaced; I wanted to work on them, she decided she didn't, and four months after our 19th anniversary she told me she wanted a divorce. I have a friend whose wife told him she wanted a divorce after 31 years of what he thought was a happy marriage. You may well have been happily married for 30 years, but that's no guarantee that you'll still be married five years from now (but I sincerely hope that you are).

Financially speaking, you might liken marriage to investing half of your income in a single stock. If you picked a good stock, everything will turn out well. But you won't know if you chose Apple, Kodak, or Enron until the end. And the caveat applied to investments applies to marriage too: "past performance is no guarantee of future results."
Agree with this. This is exactly what my cousin went through last year. Happily married (or so he thought) for 24 years, one grown kid age 22. They were planning their 25th anniversary trip over the summer. A month before the trip she told him she wants divorce! He was floored, wanted to do mediation, she had no interest. He then found out she was seeing someone else, and so he agreed. Assets split 50-50; he is OK (as much as one can be), but he will never recover financially. You can only imagine what it did to his trust in other people. One can still recover in his/her 30s or even 40s, but in 50s divorce can be financially devastating.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by ausgenf »

black jack wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:33 am
The problem is that you don't really know who you've married, or what kinds of experiences each of you will undergo and be changed by, when you choose the person you're going to marry. If you're lucky, you have a long and happy marriage "til death do you part." If you're not lucky, you learn things about your spouse that you didn't know before. For example, that mid-life crises are a real thing, and don't only happen to men.

My wife and I had been happily married (or so it seemed) for 19 years when some disagreements surfaced; I wanted to work on them, she decided she didn't, and four months after our 19th anniversary she told me she wanted a divorce. I have a friend whose wife told him she wanted a divorce after 31 years of what he thought was a happy marriage. You may well have been happily married for 30 years, but that's no guarantee that you'll still be married five years from now (but I sincerely hope that you are).
If someone had told me in early 2018 that I would be divorced within the year, I would not have believed him. We had a big family celebration in May and some people even commented that we never looked happier. I thought we were happily married (20 years together, 17 married). In early summer, I started to notice a radical change in my wife's personality. She had always been trustworthy, responsible, and dependable but she started to act like a teenager. The change was so sudden and brutal that I thought that she may have had a stroke. But no. It was simply a mid-life crisis. She just could not handle the thought of turning 50. And within weeks, she told me that she wanted a divorce. She had met a new someone a few weeks prior and she wanted to be with this person. I sought marriage counseling but she had no interest in it. Then I caught her taking money out of our joint account and giving it to her new someone. She lied about it to my face even though I had undeniable proof. So I turned to tables around and filed for divorce to protect my financial future. Today I do not recognize the person I married almost 18 years ago. The divorce has been a shock for everyone we know (except her thrice-divorced mother, go figure).
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Re: Divorce

Post by WanderingDoc »

jbdiver wrote: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:26 pm I got divorced in my early 30's. Thankfully we qualified for a "quickie" divorce because we had been married less than 8 years, we didn't have kids, and we had limited assets. My ex-wife spent every spare nickel we had on clothes, shoes, and entertainment while flying all over the country for her job. When we decided to divorce, I let her take anything she wanted in the house and I gave her half of the remaining home equity. We filled out the paperwork, got it notarized, and sent it to the county. One month later, I received a signed divorce decree from a county judge. She signed a quit claim deed on the house and I was free!
You got off easy! :beer
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by WanderingDoc »

InvestInLife wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:51 pm I have a slightly different take, in that I was on the receiving end of a hostile divorce, and lawyers were a must. The collaborative/single lawyer/mediation approach was suggested at one point, but there was nothing about my wife's approach that was oriented toward mediation or working anything out, and she made it clear she was coming for the money at the exact moment we hit our lifetime savings goal of half a million. Assets were divided in half due to legal precedence, even though I earned twice what she earned, so splitting it 50/50 was like winning the lottery for her.

Family lawyers are not CPA's, and didn't understand some of the finer points of our assets, such as tax liability for 401k's, who pays property tax on a shared home during separation, etc. My spouse avoided her share of some of these smaller points after the fact even with lawyers involved. So pay attention to the details. I would also add, being generous and throwing in extras doesn't help, but only feeds the monster, if that's what you happen to be up against.

As far as re-earning a windfall loss, I never will. Those years of earnings are lost forever. In terms of net worth, it's more like sequence of return loss than "losing" hundreds of thousands in a market drop, knowing that someday it will "bounce back."

As for going through that again? Never! Lesson learned, tuition paid. Whoever wrote "stay single" gets it. Marriage is not what it used to be; it's an utterly disposable luxury status with immense volatility. For a high wage earner, or anyone willing to work hard to grow their potential, it is a liability. More like putting 50% of your entire portfolio into a single pink sheet stock. Bitcoin would be a far sounder investment. If you are a producer rather than a consumer, it's better to remain single and play the market.
Hopefully you learned your lesson. Marriage has no benefit to one of the genders. To this day, I have not been told one.

https://me.me/i/married-single-divorced-19667215
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Re: Divorce

Post by Starfish »

vas wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:18 pm This is academic, but it's interesting how many times the 50/50 split came up. It seems so fair doesn't it.
How can it be fair (I know it was rhetorical question)? It must be some kind of anti feminist conservative thing, because it makes no sense otherwise.
My parents divorced in 1977. The judge took out the pre-marriage assets and divided what was acquired together by income. My father made less money and ended up with less. Then there was the child support. The idea of alimony did not exist.
That was more or less fair, but it was not in the US.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by TomatoTomahto »

WanderingDoc wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:59 pm [snip...]
Hopefully you learned your lesson. Marriage has no benefit to one of the genders. To this day, I have not been told one.
I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but this forum is full of people whose lives have been made more productive and happy through good (lucky?) choices of spouse. In many marriages, the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Tamarind »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:19 am
core4portfolio wrote: Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:08 pm I never been divorced but seen my nephew went through. When spouse is a homemaker, obviously other person will be earning on all these years. During divorce, why are you pointing he/ she was not working on all these years ? Your spouse might be taking care of home and/or kids...might be left job to take care of growing kids.....I couldnt get that logic on blaming a homemaker for not earning a penny for married x years....
I am surprised that there are posts here that portray the income as belonging to the “earner” rather than the couple.

My first marriage was a disaster, but assets were split 50/50, as they should be.

I’ve been with my wife for almost a quarter century, the majority of that time as a SAHD (thank you you, core4portfolio, btw, for writing “he/she”). I earned good money before we agreed that I’d stay home with the kids. How fair would it be, were we to divorce, that I would get bupkis? I offered advice, managed our portfolio, made it possible for my wife to take business trips when she needed to, did all the paperwork/taxes/etc. I’m shocked at the antediluvian tone of some of the posts.
+1. It emerges from time to time on this forum... Usually in the divorce threads.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by Starfish »

Sharing the assets was the best idea people could come several decades ago to protect women who were expected not to work.
Women not working is a thing most of industrialized world got rid of many decades ago, around WW2.
Otherwise people should be treated as equal. The fact they share a house should have no influence over their financial situation when they don't share that house anymore.
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Re: Divorce

Post by mptfan »

Call_Me_Op wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:38 am
sesq wrote:I am not a lawyer, but I am not sure they deserve all the blame for making the process contentious.
Divorce lawyers have a conflict of interest; they make more money when the divorce is contentious.
Not necessarily, it depends on the fee agreement. Some lawyers are paid based on a flat rate for each stage, for example, if everything is agreed by both parties without court involvement then the fee is X, if there is court involement then the fee is Y, and if there is a trial, then the fee is Z. So it's not directly hourly as some might assume, and it's up to the parties to decide how much they want to fight and at which stage they are willing to settle, but the lawyer does not make more by spending 10 more hours working out a settlement if there is no court involvment, the lawyer often has the opposite incentive...to come to an agreement without more work because the fee will be the same.
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Re: Divorce [financial implications]

Post by WanderingDoc »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:15 am
WanderingDoc wrote: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:59 pm [snip...]
Hopefully you learned your lesson. Marriage has no benefit to one of the genders. To this day, I have not been told one.
I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but this forum is full of people whose lives have been made more productive and happy through good (lucky?) choices of spouse. In many marriages, the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
I have never been married - by design. I am willing and ready to change once I hear of a single benefit that that gender cannot get while not married. Please do tell - I am ready.

You wouldn't get on a plane if you knew there was a 40% or 50% chance it would crash into a fiery death.

I hear too many stories of lives ruined, 30 years of work taken away from you, homelessness, suicide, and not being allowed to see your children. I don't have to tell you who specifically all of these things are happening to :wink:
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