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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-30-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default My girlfriend wants to get married - I don't...

Hey everyone,

My first time posting here, just saying hello. I've got a great gf and we've been dating for 2 years, both in our mid-20's working after finishing university. I've told her I was not going to marry her and we've got into arguments about it: pretty much said I didn't want to get married due to the unfair divorce laws in Ontario. We don't live together and each have our own place, mostly due to me being selfish about not wanting a common-law marriage (does such a thing exist in Ontario?)...I think the websites I visited stated 12 months of continuous living constitutes common-law.

My question is am I being too harsh? We get along great but after taking some family law classes in school, it seemed the courts were stacked against men. Am I wrong about this? Is it normal to feel hesitant about marriage for fear of divorce?

Please let me know your opinions, I would rather be alone than get married and divorce down the road.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:25 PM
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it is more normal to have doubts when you already have one divorce behind you. You have a fear and that is understood. No one can predict the future, you and her may be one of those marriages that last for a lifetime.

Ask her if she is willing to sign a prenup. Then go from there. Dont forget though that even if you live common law stuff can still bite you in the ass if the relationship fails.

You know that marriage is important to her and if you are serious about not getting married then be kind to her and end it. She and you are not on the same page when it comes to the relationship so she should be able to find the man who will marry her and you need someone who understands how you feel and will not constantly bring up the "m" word.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
it is more normal to have doubts when you already have one divorce behind you. You have a fear and that is understood. No one can predict the future, you and her may be one of those marriages that last for a lifetime.

Ask her if she is willing to sign a prenup. Then go from there. Don't forget though that even if you live common law stuff can still bite you in the ass if the relationship fails.

You know that marriage is important to her and if you are serious about not getting married then be kind to her and end it. She and you are not on the same page when it comes to the relationship so she should be able to find the man who will marry her and you need someone who understands how you feel and will not constantly bring up the "m" word.
Agreed, unfortunately with my generation most girls would rather be a bride than a wife, hence my apprehension. I've told her she is free to leave the relationship because I have no intention of marrying her, yet she stays. I do love her but I've heard of prenups even being tossed out.

I'm also concerned of the bias I've read here regarding the Divorce Act, and the Ontario family courts against men. Is it really that unfair against men? If so, why? I've never been married/divorced but am kind of worried of going down that path and getting bit in the ass.

I would like to be married some day, but the stories I read here and the few friends that have gone through divorce/separation completely turn me off from this biased institution.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:56 PM
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There isn't really any unfairness unless your relationship is "unfair." If she doesn't work and you do, then you will definately pay support if you split up.

If you and she are both university educated and have careers, there is no reason to end up paying support.

If you have children it will tend the same way. If you and she share parenting equally in the relationship then you have an ideal chance of having shared parenting if you split up.

If she wants to get married it's pretty likely she wants children some day too. You would have to face this choice sooner or later.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:11 PM
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Hello Kingdom:

First off, you're a VERY wise man for doing your research on the unfair Divorce laws in this country. Now, "unfair" is a relative term and in the eyes of the beholder. Now, I'm going through a divorce so take my viewpoint into consideration BUT....

-knowing what I NOW know, I would NOT have gotton married. Have fun, date, go on trips, SURE !! But NEVER get married or common law (I don't ever plan to once I get out of my current nightmare !)

-Mess's comments I don't necessarily disagree with BUT the proviso is that you both basically MAKE THE SAME MONEY and in the event you divorce with kids, you both get 50%. In that scenario, then yes, you should get away relatively "undamaged" financially.

BUT, take into accountl....

-are you SURE she'll make the same money as you

-are you SURE she won't take time off from work (either to raise the kids or "take a break"). What if she decides NOT to return to work ? What if she gets sick ?

-a simple description is that the divorce laws basically try to equalize income. So, as Mess said, if you both make the same, there's no "difference" to equalize.

-but, if you make big $$$ and she's a stay at home, disabled, just doesn't want to work, etc. then you ARE SCREWED my friend ! since there is a big difference in income.

-go to www.mysupportcalculator.ca and you can play around with scenarios.

-if you are a loyal spouse and stick with her for a long time, you MAY have to pay her FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE if she "goes rogue" and wants a divorce.

-she (or you) can divorce for ANY (or no) reason ! If she gets tired of the way you blow your nose you can be history my friend. The law doesn't care WHY or WHO initiates divorce.

-obviously, no one who gets married believes THEIR wonderful spouse will divorce, let alone "screw" them. And, at the time, they are likely right ! However, people change over time. Keep in mind roughly 70% of divorces are initiated by women; often in late 40's (menopause a factor ?) Depending on stats, roughly 50% of all marriages will fail. Even if YOU don't want to divorce, it doesn't matter as along as SHE does.

-laws are BLATANTLY against "higher income earner" (male/female) BUT there are many "subtle" biases against men.

-possible (worse case) scenarios...

-lose about 50% of your net income (spousal and child support)

-lose 50% of your "stuff" you have acquired (house, investments, pensions, etc.)

-incredible emotional/physical stress. Some guys lose their careers.

-laws seem to be getting worse, not better with "Big Brother" dictating things.

-you may HAVE to stay at a job you hate (since if you switch to a lower, more likable job they can "inpute" past income). You may have to "beg" to retire since she'll want every dime she can squeeze from you (potentially).

-your life can basically be ruined !!!!!

While pre-nups help, they are NOT foolproof and sloppy lawyers can make fatal mistakes on your behalf. You can't pre-nup of child support (by the way, there is NO accountability on how she spends YOUR child support money, she can blow it on drugs/trips and the govt won't care); you can't pre-nup out of 50% of matriomonial home, and I suspect there are limits on restricting spousal support.

-child support is NOT deductible to payor and the amounts based on salary are ridiculous and are WAY in excess of "real" child care amounts. Dont' forget "extraordinaary expensese".

-even if you are RIGHT, you can LOSE simply in HUGE legal fees (roughly $300-$500 per hour or more currently.


Am I describing the worse case above ? You bet ! However, are you willing to GAMBLE that....

a) you'll beat the 50% odds of divorce ?

b) you WON"T be the higher wage earner (higher the diff between the two of you the more the punishment)

c) are you willing to risk the very REAL risk of getting wiped out financially and quite likely permanently impairing how you live for the rest of your life ?

People claim "they don't want to live alone and want a partner/committment". Fair enough. BUT marriage is NOT a commitment. She can get tired of you ordering the same pizza too often and if there is a big wage difference between you, can CLEAN YOU OUT !! In fact, I (and others) beleive that the divorce laws can actually ENCOURAGE divorce by some women. That is, she can leave for whatever reason at all BUT YOU pay for it !

If you're not married, it's even more committed since if she splits, she'll get SFA ! Not much of an incentive there is there lol ?

Really, marriage means NOTHING. She can leave on a whim BUT you'll likely pay big time. So, why bother ?

Also, I suspect Big Brother laws will get WORSE, not better over time (just my opinion) but it could happen ! Child support USED to be deductible, NOT ANY MORE ! Spousal support is more punitive NOW than a couple decades ago. Are you willing to gamble the govt won't introduce even WORSE divorce laws for men ?

REally, I defy anyone to give a CONCRETE (non emotional) reason to get married. It no longer means commitment. Why not just date and keep separate homes. If one of you wants to leave, then leave. Don't bankrupt/ruin the other.

Kids complicate things, but quite frankly look at the guys here who have VERY limited access to kids. Are you willing to gamble your future to have them ? Only you can decide.

Again, people will have their opinion but personally, when one reviewes the effing unfair Divorce Laws, one can't help but reach the conclusion one is crazy to get married.

NOW, if you plan to be lazy, not work (or very little), like the idea of a hard working partner paying for you the rest of your life, THEN you might think marriage is AWESOME. However, if you plan to work hard, RUN away from your girlfriend.

Dude, there are 1000s of pretty girls out there, get one that just wants to have fun. If she's "nagging " you now, just wait till you get married lol !

Good Luck !
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingdom View Post
Is it normal to feel hesitant about marriage for fear of divorce?
Actually, no, I don't think that's normal. I think it's normal to blithely assume, going into marriage, that yours will be the 50% that don't get divorced.

That feeling you have may be some recognition that deep down, you are not sure about your commitment to her, or hers to you, or something similar.

However, you could take baby steps towards commitment. Buy or rent homes next to each other, like two halves of a duplex, or condos/apartments in the same building. Try out living really close by for a while. Make sure to spend around the same number of nights at her place as she spends at yours, but don't keep enough of your stuff there to be 'living' there. See what this does to your relationship.

Don't let Shellshocked frighten you. We're all a little cynical at this end of the process.

Honestly, I'd advise marriage counselling, even if nothing seems 'wrong' in your relationship. Even healthy relationships could use a check-up now and then, and the counsellor can give you both some insight into your concerns, and give you things to think about that you may not have considered.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:32 PM
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Its all true. Instead of waiting for maturity and the right person to come along that you can discuss issues with and feel strongly for, its far wiser to make all decisions in your life based on statistics and use them everytime you don't want to take sensible risks.

By the way, 100% of people die, I looked it up ...so why go to all the trouble of breathing?
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:07 AM
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You keep talking yourself out of it. I think you just not ready yet for a lifetime commitment.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
There isn't really any unfairness unless your relationship is "unfair." If she doesn't work and you do, then you will definately pay support if you split up.

If you and she are both university educated and have careers, there is no reason to end up paying support.

If you have children it will tend the same way. If you and she share parenting equally in the relationship then you have an ideal chance of having shared parenting if you split up.

If she wants to get married it's pretty likely she wants children some day too. You would have to face this choice sooner or later.
That's the thing, I don't WANT to split up; at the very least not while I'm married and with children. I don't think I'm going to marry her at all, not because I don't love her enough but because the system is stacked against the person who makes more - as you've all described.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellshocked22 View Post
Hello Kingdom:

Good Luck !
Thank you very much shellshocked; a very informative post. I am being cynical as I don't want to go into this institution with rose tinted glasses. Sounds like my odds are better in vegas than being married.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
Actually, no, I don't think that's normal. I think it's normal to blithely assume, going into marriage, that yours will be the 50% that don't get divorced.

That feeling you have may be some recognition that deep down, you are not sure about your commitment to her, or hers to you, or something similar.

However, you could take baby steps towards commitment. Buy or rent homes next to each other, like two halves of a duplex, or condos/apartments in the same building. Try out living really close by for a while. Make sure to spend around the same number of nights at her place as she spends at yours, but don't keep enough of your stuff there to be 'living' there. See what this does to your relationship.

Don't let Shellshocked frighten you. We're all a little cynical at this end of the process.

Honestly, I'd advise marriage counselling, even if nothing seems 'wrong' in your relationship. Even healthy relationships could use a check-up now and then, and the counsellor can give you both some insight into your concerns, and give you things to think about that you may not have considered.
Why is it not normal, I mean am I the only one concerned with the high rate of divorce? How can I go into that with no concern and expect everything to be okay?

Our commitment to each other is not in question, I would marry her in an instant if there were reforms to the family law system in Ontario. Just reading this forum makes it sound as though it's an adversarial process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
Its all true. Instead of waiting for maturity and the right person to come along that you can discuss issues with and feel strongly for, its far wiser to make all decisions in your life based on statistics and use them everytime you don't want to take sensible risks.

By the way, 100% of people die, I looked it up ...so why go to all the trouble of breathing?
Please leave your passive-aggressive attitude for another thread. I am with the right person. This has nothing to do with making all my life decisions based on stats, but marriage is a risky venture; probably the riskiest contract a man can sign these days.

I didn't come here to have people tell me what I wanted to hear; I came for advice from people who were once HAPPILY married - and are now divorced. I'm sure many of the members in this thread were very happy in their marriage, all I ask is for their experience of divorce and whether they think marriage works for the majority of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
You keep talking yourself out of it. I think you just not ready yet for a lifetime commitment.
Maybe you're right, I can always wait a few more years before taking that big step and signing the license. I just wish I wasn't so worried about becoming another divorced man facing a biased system.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:33 AM
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you seem to contradict yourself a bit. You say you dont want to get married but then you seem to lean towards it. You say she is the right person and you do not want to split up with her, well that can happen if you are dating or living common law, not just married.

I am thinking you are just not ready for this step and you have to be honest with her. You may not want to split up but marriage might be something that is very important to her so she may wish to start a relationship with someone else who has the same goal as she does in regard to marriage.
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