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Why Be Married? For Double the Windfall

The Los Angeles Times reports Vanessa Bryant is likely to gain a "windfall" in her divorce from Kobe Bryant. It could be $75 million in assets plus a hefty monthly living allowance.

Indeed, she is likely to leave the marriage with a whole lot more wealth than she would be likely to have if she had remained unmarried. They live in a community property state and have been married for more than a decade.

The term "windfall" also denotes a bonus that just falls into one's lap. If you are married, you know a tenth anniversary is an accomplishment, not an accident of fate. This was not exactly a get-rich-quick scheme for either of them. Nor is it a gain for either. Each will have access to a lot less than they did together, when they each had double the windfall.

And beware the implication that Vanessa's "windfall" comes at Kobe's expense. This may not be the case. Unmarried men tend to earn less than married men and to blow through more of their wealth. In such a volatile profession, where income depends so much on health, sleep, reputation, and perseverance, he, too, might be in very different circumstances had he not married.

If you are still on the fence about marrying, pay no attention to those who think a divorce settlement is ever a windfall. Shoot for the double windfall and sustain it for as long as you possibly can.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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