Devil's Advocate 

Don’t Get Married

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This is a Devil's Advocate post.

Marriage is nice in principle but when it comes down to the dollars and cents, is it really truly worth it? According to some statistics in Rebecca Mead’s new book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding (tip of the hat to Freakonomics blog), the average cost of a wedding is $27,852. Compare that to the median income in 2005 of $46,326 (Wikipedia) and you’ll wonder where people find the cash to pay for their weddings, let alone the financial pain brought on by the government.

The Marriage Tax
Let’s say you make $60,000 and the love of your life makes $60,000 too. If you remained unmarried, your couple’s total tax owed is $22,847.50 ($11,423.75 each) not counting any deductions. If you were to get married, you would owe $22,847.50 as well; being married doesn’t hurt right? What if you made $90,000 and the love of your life made $90,000? As single filers, you’d pay a combined $38621.50 in tax. As two happily single but committed persons, you’d pay $38,621.50 ($19,310.75 each); $39,392.50 if you were married, a difference of $771. As you make more and more money, the difference becomes more acute. So, either don’t get married, or don’t make a lot of money… a fair decision for someone to have to make right?

Here are the tax tables for a reference:

Tax Rate Married Filing Jointly Single
10% $0 to $15,650 $0 to $7,825
15% $15,650 to $63,700 $7,825 to $31,850
25% $63,700 to $128,500 $31,850 to $77,100
28% $128,500 to $195,850 $77,100 to $160,850
33% $195,850 to $349,700 $160,850 to $349,700
35% $349,700 to infinity $349,700 to infinity

(full marginal tax tables)

Weddings Are Expensive
I mentioned it before but the average wedding is somewhere in the $25-$28k range, which is about a down payment on a house in most areas. While everyone loves a party and loves the celebration, the sheer expense of it all almost makes you want to elope or hit up Vegas, doesn’t it? Not only are weddings expensive, they’re often stressful as you want your wedding day to be perfect. That means the food must be good, the drink must be good, the guests must be happy, the ceremony must go off without a hitch, the rings can’t get lost, the weather can’t turn sour, the reception hall can’t lose electricity, and so on and so forth. Considering how little of that you can actually control, it makes for quite a stressful day doesn’t it? Oh, and it’ll cost you a pretty penny or two (million).

You Lose Half Your Stuff
From now on everything you earn, you only get half (and that’s the half after the tax man takes his cut, which gets bigger and bigger with every dollar). If things don’t work out, he or she gets to keep half of it if you walk away for the always popular “irreconcilable differences” excuse. Yuck!

So the moral of today’s story is: don’t get married. Oh, and I’m preparing myself for the beat down that is likely going to occur at the hands of my lovely, brilliant, special, wonderful, and most-important-person-in-my-life fiancee once she reads this… but remember, Devil’s Advocate means that most people don’t agree (including myself, especially in this case!) and I was just trying to find a way to argue the other side. I’m still getting married. I hope. 🙂

{ 43 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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43 Responses to “Don’t Get Married”

  1. jim says:

    Anonymous: Tax breaks. 🙂

  2. Patrick says:

    Anonymous: the purpose of getting married is to satisfy everyone but you: the government, the clergy, the diamond industry, the wedding industry (i.e. caterers, food & beverage, etc.), and the wife-to-be (who will take 1/2 of your money and assets once she divorces you).

    • sMARTGUY says:

      Patrick is concise and CORRECT! If people really kept their marriage vows that’d be one thing, but more than 1/2 the time they don’t… times have changed.

      Things have changed with the feminization movement… the price society and women will pay? More men talking and less and less men entering into marriage which will statistically end in divorce. It might be best to change traditional vows “I, (Sarah/James), take you (Sarah/James), to be my (wife/husband), to have and behold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.” TO “I, (Sarah/James), take you (Sarah/James), to be my (wife/husband), to have and behold until I feel neglected, for better only and never for worse, for richer, not poorer, never in sickness and only in health, to love and to cherish; until I decide to divorce you in a no-fault state.” Times have changed along with divorce rates… isn’t it time for our wedding vows to reflect some of those changes?

  3. Frustrated says:

    Most people think the US divorce rate is 50%. According to a relative and PHD psychologist, the divorce rate is 67%. With “no-fault divorce”, a majority of men will evenually find themselves in an apartment, townhouse or much smaller house with half their assets gone, and often paying alimony. Those with young children wind up in a far worse financial situation paying child support for many years. In my opinion, marriage is now a crap shoot and for most couples it becomes just that. With a divorce rate of 67%, men can no longer think “it won’t happen to me”. For two-thirds, it is now an eventuality. Marriage was the bedrock of society, but with its demise society will suffer and eventually collapse from unbridled immorality. The courts, religious institutions and society in general have all contributed to making divorce easy and acceptable. Those who label me a pessimist will understand when they find themselves divorced.

  4. Jerry says:

    never marry unless you got a prenup but remember its not worth it marry a hoe and life will turn in to hell your only a sex and money for women your love does cost money and its much more fun to live alone and screw women

  5. Jess says:

    Look, I’ve been married and divorced. She left/filed for “soft reasons” e.g., “she wanted to do things her way 100% of the time.” So here I was… set for early retirement, ready to travel the world in my golden years… then she walked out, took 1/2 of pretty much everything (including some of my inheritance income) and now I’m paying the greedy little goldigger alimony for years and years – she has a degree and can make good money, but instead chose to work at a job that pays her a low hourly rate that she likes because it’s easy. Prenups can be cracked/thrown out… bottom line is if you want to give a woman control over your life, finances, children, retirement, etc., marry her… marriage is a great deal for women – why do you suppose women are so much more eager to get married than men! The court system/laws are on HER side. I’m a lot smarter now… if I got married again she’d have to make more money than I do… a lot more. Aside from that, marriage ruins an otherwise great relationship… things change after you say “I do.”

  6. Duped says:

    I just went through the divorce process. I have been married only for two and a half years. My wife colluded with my litigation attorney on a settlement and duped me of my money. When we got married, this woman was all like “you remind me of my father and I never want to lose you, blah, blah…” and once she saw me win some court cases, she completely turned, misled my attorney about the settlement proceeds to be divided, took the money and filed for divorce. I guess in most people’s cases, it takes about 10 years to build up some wealth. i was fortunate to build up a little wealth early on and voila, the woman disappears early on. If you want be with someone, do that but never sign a state document. There is absolutely NO reason to get a state license and get duped by these calculating types.

    • Russ says:

      This is a smart man! Hell, get married in a church in the eyes of your friends, family and God… just don’t sign that marriage license and don’t live in a common law marriage state or you may end up in a common law marriage. The state license only invites the legal system into your life if things go south one day. If you have kids, you’ll still be on the hook for child support after a paternity test if she gets custody… but that’s a lot better than alimony+child support. Take it from someone who currently pays 50% of his income to a woman he now despises… no fun. DONT sign state license!

  7. Patrick J says:

    Men are catching onto women, they are not getting married.

    It is costly and not rewarding.

    Later in life when you want to retire and move to a low cost area, the wife will not move. It is their way or the highway, so give them the highway.

    I have noticed that when divorce happens the men are happy; but the women never ever stop grinding the axe.

    This is what I observe with my married friends.

  8. pong says:

    i enjoy staying a lone,because i find out that i have family to beside me all the time..555…i`m pong….nice to meet every body.

    • cute girl says:

      i don`t know why my heart always broken .every time i like to ask myself when i had boy friend why they leave me…in fact,i don`t mind making new friends…if somebody need to see my picture or want to be my friend …please go to ,,, .thi is my hi5
      or is my e mail

  9. Ross says:

    I’m 51. My wife initiated a unilateral divorce… no cheating, no lying, no substance abuse on my part – I was an ideal husband but she wanted a change. So she file, took 1/2 the assets/money, a chunk of my pension, and basically blew my early retirement plans out of the water. I should have gotten a prenup you say? Nope, prenups get cracked/ignored all the time. It’s been over 3 years now and she still receives 50% of my income… getting married is pure stupidity for MEN… but a great deal for women. Just wait until one day when you’re paying alimony to an ex wife who has a house, Lexus and you’re driving and old pickup and living in a small apartment. Live just isn’t fair sometimes… but then as I found out the legal system isn’t fair to men… best way to avoid it, just don’t marry. Live with her, lover her… just don’t marry her guys. Women file for divorce just over 2/3 of the time statistically… think about it.

  10. Tim Shepard says:

    Marriage is simply a scam perpetrated on men by the governement. You may noticed most men dont talk much about their divorces (In California the divorce rate its close to 85% but the state government sweeps that under the rug) Dont take their silence for guilt, its PTSD, talk to a man who has been ripped off in divorce court and learn the facts before you make the biggest mistake of your life.

  11. The Duke from Italy says:

    In this naziwomenist society is better not to get married..

    If you really love someone, signing a contract (because marriage is a contract) doesn’t helps you to grow your love for your soulmate.. but helps her just in case she decide is better to have back his freedom since she is an independent woman! (with your money, home, etc etc.. of course) is for rich people! and for those who still believe in Cynderella and Santa Claus..

  12. The DUke from Italy says: the way.. it would be nice to think about why all this happens.. and not only in USA.. if im here, writing you from Italy.. rings any bells?.. many friends from facebook told me the same situation in many european countries.. we should go forward and ask ourself. why this happens? why the family is ruined? why men are becoming slaves? why there aren’t any family falours around us?..i’ve my personal view.. for many of you it may sounds like im a freak mind.. but let me say that nothings happens just for unknown reasons..

    Before each country had his identities, his languages.. their valours.. the families was always the reasons of tradictional cultures and societies around the world.. this is against any indastrythat’s looks for profit.. so we should destroy the family just to have more people alone, and being alone means that you will lost any beacons.. so to find agreement in the commercial societies, if you don’t want to be alone, youo should be like others.. be fashion, in shape, have the last fancy phones.. is this the happines? no.. just what someone whish for us.. we have to grow ourself just to be customers.. no more time for us.. for valours.. and what if no more marriages? no more babies? simple.. adoptions from the poor people of other countries.. in this way in about 100 years all the cultures will be lost, no more italians.. no more english people.. just a melting post without valours and it would be very easy to control all this people who only mind about themselves.. in the future… united states of americas, united stated of europe.. all controlled by cameras in any corner, no money in your pocket just one plastic card (with a chip) so with a few strokes on a keyboard whoever may control you.. meanwhile they start to control water, you must pay for it, alsothey want to create only 2 kind of society, few people who will be rich, and the rest without nothing.. even without the warm hugs of a family.. if you think im a dreamer take a lookm around you.. check your daily life..

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