Devil's Advocate 

Save Money, Get A Divorce!

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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!”

{ 16 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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16 Responses to “Save Money, Get A Divorce!”

  1. Haha! I’m only in the engaged club and I am already feeling the accountability crunch.

  2. Miller says:

    Another wise man once said, instead of getting married, its better to do this. Every 10 years, just find the person you despise the most and give them half of your worth. Oddly enough, that wise man didn’t heed his own advice and is now on marriage number three!

  3. saladdin says:

    The best marriage advice ever given:

    Do 2 things before you get married:
    1. Look at their mother. They all end up looking like their mom.
    2. Check out her teeth. Dental work is very very expensive.

    Thank you, Thank you. I’ll be performing here all week.


  4. Jeremy says:

    A wise man (ok maybe not, a divorce attorney) once told me that a divorce typically costs the same as a wedding. High maintenance/drama wedding, high maintenance divorce. If you have a cheaper wedding, chances are you have less, and therefore less to split and agree on. The higher the wedding, chances are the more you have (or more debt you *will* have), and the more work will need to go into a settlement.

    I’d say he was about right.

  5. carolina-pirate says:

    You want financial prosperity….and you just made the dumbest financial move of your life by getting married in the U.S.

    This isnt the 1950’s or your grandparents generation anymore. Only morons get married today. You just gave that woman half of your assets and if your stupid enough to have a kid with her…..she has you locked down for 18 years. You laugh….she has the full power of the law and the power of the state on her side.
    While your mumbling…eqwual protection of the law….she will have done kicked you out of your own home….made you pay for her divorce from you….and moved in her new boyfriend to help raise your kid. (happens everyday)

    You better start to take steps now to protect yourself…..and hide everything…..

    You remember…you were warned….you didnt just marry that woman….you married the state you fool.

    Didnt your daddy teach you anything about women and marriage?

  6. Lori says:

    The divorce perks you described in your article may be IRS friendly but the pain and suffering dished out by “the system” during such a process is devastating – emotionally and financially. I filed for an uncontested divorce two years ago in KS, suffered through a grueling trial in April and am still waiting for a divorce decree to be issued by the Court – almost 6 months after the trial ended. Ironically, there is no required separation period in KS and the law stipulates an uncontested divorce is grantable 60 days after filing. WHAT A JOKE…!!! I’m now $55,000 lighter in the wallet because of legal fees during the past two years and the tab is still running. The only people making money in the divorce business are lawyers. At a minimum rate of $250/hour, you can bet they are not anxious to rush the process. And by the way, they’re allowed to charge you for merely “thinking” about your case. Lawyers are equivalent to bank robbers for the most part. The only thing missing is the mask! I would NEVER recommend filing for divorce with the expectation of financial gains, as any potential gain would certainly be offset by scorching legal fees. Bottom line….marriage is a gamble at best, but divorce is a guaranteed expense.

  7. Bob says:

    Is there a dollar amount limit on how much a year you can write off on alimony?

  8. cfiz says:

    “Alimony Is Tax Deductible!”

    That’s a joke, right? You’ve got to be kidding me!

    You’re not saving money by paying alimony and getting a tax deduction. That’s because you had to PAY ALIMONY. If you pay $5000 and then deduct $5000 from your taxable income, you’re NOT going to get $5000 back from the deduction. Not even close. You’ll get a small fraction back. So you end up losing money by having to divorce and then pay alimony. Divorcing for the alimony deduction is as silly as buying an enormous house on mortgage to get the mortgage deduction.

    The other two points mentioned in the article are indeed benefits to divorcing.

    Alimony and child support are two of the main reasons to avoid marriage in the first place.

    But if anyone does end up stuck in marriage, it’s worth considering whether the potential alimony and child support costs are worth it before getting a divorce. It may indeed be worth it, due to the huge freedom of leaving a bad marriage, but alimony and child support are huge costs to consider.

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