Divorce Attorney’s POV on Marriage
Being a divorce attorney for past 21 years has gifted me volumes of horror stories of marriages gone wrong.
However, I don’t think the solution is ever: “Don’t get married”.
Legal Case for Marriage
Yes, marriage is unpredictable. Your life can be ruined by selecting the wrong person. Yet, I am still a big fan, so I present here the case for marriage.
Married couples can file jointly and qualify for tax breaks. In 2020, the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly is $24,800 (compared to only $12,400 for singles).
If one spouse earns less than the other, filing jointly could decrease the income threshold and keep you in a lower bracket.
Health insurance is expensive in America, especially for entrepreneurs! If one spouse has an employee plan, they can add the other to the medical plan after marriage.
Combining incomes while married can help you qualify for bigger mortgages, and lower rates.
Boyfriends and girlfriends don’t get inheritance rights. Married couples do.
And, if your spouse passes, everything owned jointly will pass to you without taxes.
Even if they die without a will, no problem – laws will protect your inheritance rights as the surviving spouse.
Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration encourages marriage! Generally you can claim your own social security benefits, or your spouse’s(up to 50% of their allotment).
This protects the spouse that stayed at home and never worked.
The benefits continue after retireement, and in the case of disability or death.
If you were married for at least 10 years, you may be able to receive derivative social security benefits in the event of divorce.
You cannot be forced to testify against your spouse in court. This privilege is granted to married people only. If you saw your boyfriend or girlfriend commit a crime, you can be compelled to testify, as there is no spousal privilege.
Children born during a marriage are presumed to be the children of the two parties married. Thus, married fathers do not need to establish paternity.
However, if you suspect paternity fraud, this may not be a benefit of marriage.
Live Longer and Healthier; Less Stressed
Medical studies consistently show that happily married couples live longer and are healthier.
Studies also show that married people carry less cortisol hormones, and as such, are less stressed.
What If We Just Live Together?