Before you tie the knot, you’re going to want to be on the same page about having kids or not.
If you decide not to expand the family, you may want to completely rethink marriage, suggests Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank investor and author of “Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money.“
“The only reason you should marry is if you are planning on having children,” O’Leary told James Altucher on a recent podcast. “There is absolutely no reason to marry somebody if you’re not starting a family … The economic benefits of marriage only include a family.”
He parallels the financial risks of marriage with a business deal, and recommends putting in the same quality of consideration before marrying someone as you would before making a big investment.
“If you’re buying somebody’s company, you’re taking a lot of capital and putting it at risk. That’s the same as a marriage when you think about should you divorce, you lose half your assets,” he explains. “Why not do the same due diligence process to marriage as you would to the risk you’re taking when you make an investment?”
O’Leary’s “three year rule” says that you should wait at least three years before marriage to ensure you’re compatible, with your finances among other things. He did double due diligence, having dated his wife Linda for six years before marrying and eventually having two kids.
Of course, you could skip the entire due diligence process should you forego kids, as O’Leary recommends: “There’s no reason for a marriage if there’s no children … The risks you take forming a legal union if you’re not planning on having any children are very, very heavy. You’re going to lose half your assets; you’re going to force liquidation of your assets in a break up of a marriage. You better make sure what you’re doing when you form that bond. That’s a legal bond, and it’s no different than forming a corporation.”
He also suggests that arranged marriages may be more efficient:
When you go and look at unions that have lasted more than 30 years and you really ask the participants how that union was formed, more often than not, they will tell you it was arranged through their parents or their relatives … The truth is, if you marry somebody from the same social strata as you — someone that has the same religious or moral obligations that you have, and the same history — your probability of remaining with them for a long period of time is higher because you’ve mitigated some of the risk out of it.
When you go look at unions and really study marriage, you’re going to find out — and it sounds shocking — that you’re probably better off having your mate propose[d] to you by parents and family members who know what works. You don’t know [what works] — you’re young.