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Another poster, Angel May, suggested that we could afford the extra $20K per year. Of course we can afford it. I could afford to drive more expensive cars, live in a high end neighborhood, and send my kids to private school, but I don't do those things either. It is more important to us to save the income, have more financial security and retire earlier. (And I think it is harmful to the kids to bring them up in that way, but that's a whole other discussion.)

To be fair, I have to tell you that there were other reasons than just higher taxes that we got divorced. This was back in the early 80's and I had graduated from university (as a divorced-from-first-husband adult - not the usual college kid) and had managed to get a good job. My husband was still paying off debts that his first wife had run up. In other words, we were only a couple of paychecks away from penniless.

In addition, I wanted credit in my own name and so I requested the credit only to be told that I already had credit because my name was on my husband's card. So, in reality, I had no credit and they were blowing smoke up my arse. I got angry.

We calculated the marriage penalty and saw that we would be paying an unfair price to the government just for the privilege of being married. Brothers and sisters can live together and share the bills, etc. - just like married people - but their salaries are not stacked on top of each other to reach those higher brackets. Same for roommates. This just struck us as very unfair.

In our case, we weren't making together what one of you is making now.

So we got divorced. I got my credit in my own name - and my credit is now above 800 so I guess I was a good risk after all.

We stayed divorced for many years. We never kept it secret. But we never announced it, either. How many people go around announcing that, by the way, they are still married? Mostly, the only time it came up was when someone asked us how long we had been married. Then we would laugh and explain that we had been together X years but had only been married Y of those years. And we would make it clear that we were not currently married. Our parents never asked. We never told.

We remarried after I retired.

But I have to tell you also that there were no children involved. When you have children it's important that you are careful what you teach them. Frankly, I think you are not setting a very good example for these children by what you are doing. You are well able to afford a decent home and everything needed for a comfortable life - AND pay the government for the value you receive from it.

I agree that a marriage penalty is extremely unfair. I think each person who receives a salary for work performed should pay taxes on that salary without regard to who they live with or what those living arrangements might be. But that's not the way it is.

AND ... if I was making the amount of money you say you and your wife are bringing in at the moment, I wouldn't bat an eyelash at paying my taxes - unfair or not. That $20K wouldn't even make a dent.

Apparently, this country has been pretty good to you. You should pay your taxes and set a good example for your children - and be grateful for the roads and schools, etc., provided to you through those tax dollars. You could also mention to your children that those tax dollars help other, poorer families, to educate their children, too.

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