never marry

why you may not want to get married

the following is not valid for every country or state, but countries share many of those rules

you can not just divorce

the other person can refuse and it becomes a "contested divorce" that cant be dissolved just so. depending on the local laws, in this case you might be unable to divorce for the next three years minimum, with the full support requirements of regular marriage continuing in this time. this is supposed to be time for possible reconcilation

even if both agree and want to get out of the marriage, in many countries and states you legally cant because you have to complete one additional "year of separation" before you can even formally apply for a divorce. the court might ask for proofs to check if the year has been completed appropriately. it is also not merely waiting time: during the time, sharing anything with your partner is strictly limited, separation should be uphold. even just doing each others laundry or going out together for a meal a few times can theoretically void the time passed so far. if one partner changes their mind and wants to delay proceedings, they might produce restaurant bills and the like at the court date for the divorce hearing to invalidate the year of separation. if there is enough evidence that the separation was not completed correctly, divorce will be denied. in a way this makes it difficult to go from being married to being friends, instead, at least officially, it seems that people have to go from married to being strangers

a year is a long time after you have decided to part, especially if both parties live in the same apartment and can not afford a second one

in any case, as long as the marriage is not divorced, one party has to pay for everything in the other parties life if they are unable to support themselves. this includes housing, food, clothing and even paying for damages the other person does to other peoples property for example. no party is required to work in the year of separation so in that time the other person can get into new relationships, party every day and be lazy, payed by your money. at the day of divorce, the other person usually has to physically appear in court, which makes it difficult to separate into different countries because visas often depend on living together and once a person is in another country, they may be difficult to reach and long and expensive travel makes it difficult to get them to appear at a certain time in the country of divorce. the divorce process can be severely hindered if one party is not cooperative

there are only a few exceptional situations that allow to get around the year of separation requirement: there is anullment (following deception, like finding out about secret children) and hardship (domestic violence and worse), and that is usually about it

there are rare circumstances where divorce might be denied indefinitely, for example if the other person gets ill while married and can not support themselves and you keep visiting the person or are somehow required to support their life

you loose future earnings and wealth

divorce formalities require a lawyer by law, and eventually an equally expensive translator if the other person does not speak the local language. it also costs time and effort to set up and coordinate appointments between multiple people, particularly when a translator has to be present. 200 euro for a translator for a 30 minute court session is not unusual. and there might need to be multiple such sessions. there is no really cheap divorce. the lawyer and court bills quickly go into the thousands, but the minimum is perhaps about 1000 euro for the simplest possible cases (shared lawyer, no translator, agreement on everything, court fees). and if you dont have the money, it becomes more difficult

tax benefits through marriage may be discontinued in the years of separation, even when having to fully support the other person


that is loosing 3/7 of everything you earned while you were married. because marriage means two are considered one, everything any one earns belongs to both. if one person has brought in less wealth than the other (think of stay-at-home partners), the wealth is distributed. and if the marriage lasted multiple years or the other person got ill while being married this usually becomes substantial and as the wealthier party you might be forced to make the payment from your future earnings, potentially for the rest of your life. that would be a ~42% tax that goes to the former spouse. you can lose savings, objects, cars and houses at once to someone you may not want to support anymore. debt created while being married (not debt created before the marriage) also belongs to both equally, the one who can pay towards it has to pay for it. illness is a particularly interesting case: if one person can not support themselves because of an illness that began in the time of the marriage, the future support responsibility falls to the other (ex-) spouse and not for example to the state

if you got children

you will pay a maximum amount of support money until the children can support themselves, even if that means regular payments until they are 30. they are your children, so that should be no problem, or is it? well, you may not get custody and not be able to see them often. and the payments go to your ex, who does whatever with it. of course, in any case, if you are poor and dont care about staying that way then it does not matter as much, because you wont be required to pay so much that you are unable to support yourself; kind of an incentive for poor people to have many children

it is not unheard of that taking care of the children is counted as work that has to be compensated for after divorce. so that adds to the alimony payments. you may also have to compensate the former spouse for lost opportunities while raising the children (missed education and job experience)

it may take a lot of effort

if the other person does not agree with the divorce, you may have a very expensive, multiple years long struggle with many meetings with lawyers, court dates, waiting for responses, forms and more until divorce ahead of you

if the other person does not speak the local language, you have to organise everything. if the other person does not have enough money, you have to pay for everything

why people get married

a potentially significant tax cut, usually only when living together, for example 200 euro of additional household income after taxes

relative-like status in law, which allows one spouse decisions about medical procedures for example if the other person is in a coma or similar

a potential incentive for staying together because of the difficulty to separate

being taken care of by receiving someones wealth in or after marriage and possibly never having to work again

because of a feeling that this is what people have to do, because society expects it, traditions, peer pressure. especially when having children to symbolise commitment

to be allowed to live in another country and get a residence permit in the case of an international relationship, because immigration is commonly heavily restricted. there is often no other way for living together

be particularly mindful

if you want to keep the wealth you earn (loss of wealth)

if you move in together (difficult/expensive to separate in two apartments)

if the other person

can not support themselves financially (full financial responsibility and legal requirement to pay)

shows signs of developing a chronic illness (extends financial responsibility or limits ability to divorce)

does not speak the local language (requires accredited translators for all legal matters)

might want children and you dont (deception/sabotage with birth control happens)

how society drives people to make a mistake

some communities tend to deflect or strongly discourage criticism of marriage, even though it is an important decision with potentially severe consequences that needs serious consideration of the facts. there is an expectation in communities, sometimes peer pressure from family and friends, for people to marry, and a widespread opinion that it is a venerable thing to do. because communities can be consistently dismissive of criticism, possibly unwanted effects are less commonly known and visible, so far even, that one might get the impression that it is legally not a big deal. this way it seems less potentially harmful than it actually is and a mistake becomes easier to make for anyone that has not got the memo or goes to a lawyer and thoroughly informs themselves before marrying. the right answer to the question "do you want to marry me?" would be "i have to consult with my lawyer first"


two are considered one. for example spouses could destroy each others valuables and there is no point in going to the police

marriage can be considered a special long-term contract between two individuals. it means involving the government and lawyers in a relationship

there is no need to believe others when they say that you have to get married, that it is necessary to "grow up" or that it is a good thing to do for anyone under any circumstances. you can be in a relationship perfectly happy without it. you may also have other alternative legal options at hand, like variants of civil unions or "domestic partnership" that might help with tax benefits

the law for the tax benefits needs to change: people with marriages get preferred treatment from the government with tax cuts. the tax cuts are rationalised by supposedly helping people to procreate, but marriage does not equal procreation. people can marry and never want children and people can easily live together and have children without being married

according to the american psychological association, more than 90% of people have married at least once by age 50 and about 40% to 50% of marriages get divorced

tags: start q1 marriage textual