This is a Devil's Advocate post.
Marriage is a beautiful and wonderful thing. I just joined the club several months ago and it’s not too bad so far. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t fall in love and spend the rest of your life with someone, I just think that the accounting details make it a raw deal. I’ve talked about how you shouldn’t get married in the past, but if you’ve already let the cat out of the bag and paid for the license, here are some more reasons why you should considering going back to the courthouse to get your money back (it’ll be pricey but think of the ROI!).
Tax Brackets & Marriage Penalty
The marriage penalty is the cute name given to the fact that the tax brackets for married filing jointly isn’t double that of single filers. That is to say, all things being equal, you will pay more as a couple than you would if you were just dating. This is a throwback to an age where one person worked, one person didn’t. In the case of only one income, doubling the brackets gave married couples a significant advantage tax-wise. Now, with two incomes, it’s become a liability.
Your Money, Your Choice
One of the great things about being single is that you are the master of your financial domain. If you wanted to spend $200 on a new purse or a pair of Nikes, you didn’t have to answer to anyone, you didn’t have the consult with anyone, you just did it. If you’re a saver and he/she is a spender, you had conflict. If you’re a spender and he/she is a saver, you had conflict. When it’s just you, there is no conflict. No one chastises you, you don’t chastise anyone, there’s no headache in a couple of one. You are the master of your financial domain.
Alimony Is Tax Deductible!
Did you know that alimony is tax deductible? That’s right, the government loves alimony so much that they will let you deduct it as an adjustment to your income whether you itemize or claim the standard deduction. You can’t deduct donations when you claim the standard deduction, but alimony is okay! First it’s the marriage penalty, then it’s alimony being tax deductible… if this isn’t a government incentive to get divorced, I don’t know what is!
I leave you with this:
A wise man once asked, “Do you know why divorce is so expensive?”
The answer? “Because it’s worth it!”