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We have a couple of kids and own property together but haven't gotten married. What are the benefits/risks of not being married?

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you're seriously overstating the non-kids stuff. When I don't have a rental vacancy, I'm amazed at how much ridiculous f... (more)

rufflesinc (Aug. 08, 2017 @ 12:17p) |

You are seriously understating the impact of actually have to deal with children in completing the regular chores, addit... (more)

hairybeast (Aug. 08, 2017 @ 1:42p) |

I didn't say they were and I didnt compare them. I mentioned it because sometimes I don't have free time because of that... (more)

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rated:
A benefit: no marriage penalty on your taxes
Risks: I don't know, but I bet you should be able to mitigate any without requiring marriage

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you're stuck calling her your baby momma. or more formally, your children's mother.

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Most of the financial/legal benefits of marriage can be accomplished by appropriate titling of property, beneficiary designation in life insurance/financial accounts, clearly spelled out preferences in wills/trust documents, a living will and durable power of attorney for medical purposes, and so forth. Some extra legwork but nothing particularly onerous.

Benefits to marriage are often tangible (ease of many things above), clear understanding that your intentions are for the long-haul (can help with trust), signalling to family/friends/community of the same, some very minor tax considerations (frankly can go either way depending on income)...decent summary here: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Family/7-Tax-Adva...

Risks...depends on state, person you're considering marriage with, terms of any prenuptial agreement, etc.

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There are numerous social implications depending on the type of work you do and how active you are in your community.  These may affect your children as they get older.  Not fair, and you may not even know it is occurring -- but it's real.

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rufflesinc said:   you're stuck calling her your baby momma. or more formally, your children's mother.
  vs ex-wife in a few years when she tires of you when she rekindles with an old flame. 
 

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11 Things You Never Thought Of When You Decided Not To Get Married 
Here are a few things a marriage certificate will do for you:
You’ll qualify for an estate tax marital deduction.
You’ll qualify for the gift tax marital deduction.
You can roll over a deceased spouse’s IRA to the surviving spouse’s IRA.
You can contribute to a spousal IRA.
You can receive survivor’s benefits from a pension plan.
You can receive Social Security benefits.
You’ll save on health insurance.
You have an advantage if your spouse is incapacitated.
You have more protection if your spouse dies.

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icecube said:   A benefit: no marriage penalty on your taxes
Risks: I don't know, but I bet you should be able to mitigate any without requiring marriage

  
Most married couples benefit from filing joint, so unless the OP is in the minority, he isn't affected by the marriage "penalty"

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svap said:   11 Things You Never Thought Of When You Decided Not To Get Married 
Here are a few things a marriage certificate will do for you:
You’ll qualify for an estate tax marital deduction.
You’ll qualify for the gift tax marital deduction.
You can roll over a deceased spouse’s IRA to the surviving spouse’s IRA.
You can contribute to a spousal IRA.
You can receive survivor’s benefits from a pension plan.
You can receive Social Security benefits.
You’ll save on health insurance.
You have an advantage if your spouse is incapacitated.
You have more protection if your spouse dies.

  You'll have the benefit of giving her half of everything you have, provided you had anything before being married.

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The biggest? When you die and if you have money your 'wife' gets nothing.
Unless you are in a common law state. Then the state gets most of the money and your wife gets the diff.

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forbin4040 said:   The biggest? When you die and if you have money your 'wife' gets nothing.
Unless you are in a common law state. Then the state gets most of the money and your wife gets the diff.

  In my state [without a will], the kids would get the money.

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NoMoneyInMyWallet said:   
forbin4040 said:   The biggest? When you die and if you have money your 'wife' gets nothing.
Unless you are in a common law state. Then the state gets most of the money and your wife gets the diff.

  In my state [without a will], the kids would get the money.

  No probate?

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svap said:   11 Things You Never Thought Of When You Decided Not To Get Married 
Here are a few things a marriage certificate will do for you:
You’ll qualify for an estate tax marital deduction.
You’ll qualify for the gift tax marital deduction.
You can roll over a deceased spouse’s IRA to the surviving spouse’s IRA.
You can contribute to a spousal IRA.
You can receive survivor’s benefits from a pension plan.
You can receive Social Security benefits.
You’ll save on health insurance.
You have an advantage if your spouse is incapacitated.
You have more protection if your spouse dies.

The insurance premium savings is not limited to health. Our employer is one of those that still does not recognize domestic partners for family coverage. Getting additional single health insurance or paying obamacare mandate penalty would be costlier.

But here's another I found out by accident when shopping for auto insurance.  Most insurers have pricing models that take into account weird factors to evaluate risk. Being married is somehow a risk-lowering thing so premiums were lower when I checking married vs. single. (Well unless you're Tiger Woods). Seemed almost like when they ask you whether you rent or own, where owning a house somehow lowers your auto insurance premiums. It was also cheaper to bundle two cars into one policy rather than having two separate ones. Some insurers do not let you bundle multiple policies into one if the owners are not married.

That may be a niche one but I know this one for sure from experience. Naturalization and immigration rights are only extended to married spouses, not domestic partners. So you'd have to do the procedures for both partners totally independently (both qualification and pay fees twice) if unmarried. For our limited investigations, that seems to be the case in most other countries as well (for those wanting emigrate to another country).

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It has been hinted at, but if you are the lower earning partner, then you have the risk of receiving no financial support from your partner when you separate. A spouse might receive alimony, a share of the house, even part of their ex spouse's pension, but if you are not married you get nothing when you separate.

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Elaine (Interrupting): Woah, woah, woah! No one's getting married here.

Father Curtis: You aren't?

Puddy: No.

Elaine: We're just, you know, having a good time.

Father Curtis: Oh, well then it's simple. You're both going to hell.

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The biggest risk I see is if she decides one day that she is no longer happy or "in love" with you or whatever and hits you up for 18+ years of child support. No, any current receipts, sharing of costs, or whatever are going to be offset or count for anything, if it wasn't administered by the state. That said, you still get hit up with that for the difference of time if you are married. If you are married you get hit with 18- total years of marriage. If you aren't married, you get hit up with years remaining until 18 plus back child support to year zero and possibly interest.

Let me guess, she is pushing you to get married?

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Shandril said:   svap said:   11 Things You Never Thought Of When You Decided Not To Get Married 
Here are a few things a marriage certificate will do for you:
You’ll qualify for an estate tax marital deduction.
You’ll qualify for the gift tax marital deduction.
You can roll over a deceased spouse’s IRA to the surviving spouse’s IRA.
You can contribute to a spousal IRA.
You can receive survivor’s benefits from a pension plan.
You can receive Social Security benefits.
You’ll save on health insurance.
You have an advantage if your spouse is incapacitated.
You have more protection if your spouse dies.

The insurance premium savings is not limited to health. Our employer is one of those that still does not recognize domestic partners for family coverage. Getting additional single health insurance or paying obamacare mandate penalty would be costlier.

But here's another I found out by accident when shopping for auto insurance.  Most insurers have pricing models that take into account weird factors to evaluate risk. Being married is somehow a risk-lowering thing so premiums were lower when I checking married vs. single. (Well unless you're Tiger Woods). Seemed almost like when they ask you whether you rent or own, where owning a house somehow lowers your auto insurance premiums. It was also cheaper to bundle two cars into one policy rather than having two separate ones. Some insurers do not let you bundle multiple policies into one if the owners are not married.

That may be a niche one but I know this one for sure from experience. Naturalization and immigration rights are only extended to married spouses, not domestic partners. So you'd have to do the procedures for both partners totally independently (both qualification and pay fees twice) if unmarried. For our limited investigations, that seems to be the case in most other countries as well (for those wanting emigrate to another country).


With gay marriage now legal throughout the country...wouldn't domestic partnerships be phased out in general? Not a need, any longer.

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meade18 said:   
icecube said:   A benefit: no marriage penalty on your taxes
Risks: I don't know, but I bet you should be able to mitigate any without requiring marriage

  
Most married couples benefit from filing joint, so unless the OP is in the minority, he isn't affected by the marriage "penalty"

Here is some discussion of the Marriage Penalty and the Marriage Bonus: https://taxfoundation.org/understanding-marriage-penalty-and-mar...

There are some other things that are left out, though.  Like the student loan interest deduction... it does not increase when you're married, and the phase out doesn't double.  Any other things that folks are aware?

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Didn't you have a wife in Austin?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1568653

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ryoung81 said:   There are numerous social implications depending on the type of work you do and how active you are in your community. These may affect your children as they get older. Not fair, and you may not even know it is occurring -- but it's real.Don't tell neighbors and co-workers that you're not married -- problem solved. Nobody will ever ask for your marriage certificate. Plus there's common-law marriage.

ETA: and since you're both going to hell anyway, might as well lie about it
Dus10 said:   meade18 said:   icecube said:   A benefit: no marriage penalty on your taxes
Risks: I don't know, but I bet you should be able to mitigate any without requiring marriage
Most married couples benefit from filing joint, so unless the OP is in the minority, he isn't affected by the marriage "penalty"
Here is some discussion of the Marriage Penalty and the Marriage Bonus: https://taxfoundation.org/understanding-marriage-penalty-and-marriage-bonus/ 

There are some other things that are left out, though.  Like the student loan interest deduction... it does not increase when you're married, and the phase out doesn't double.  Any other things that folks are aware?
The worst marriage penalty I've found is the passive activity loss special allowance phaseout -- the range is 100K-150K whether you're single or married, it's not inflation-adjusted, and from what I can tell hasn't changed since it was introduced. The loss carries over until you have a profit, but carry-overs don't account for time-value of money (opportunity cost -- writing off 10K this year is not the same as writing off this 10K in 20 years). If you have rentals with paper losses, are subject to the special allowance, and your incomes fall into this, you could save a lot more money as single.

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I haven't read the other comments, but don't forget how this could play out with healthcare, receiving health information, being involved in health decisions, being able to accompany the person in the hospital, visit in intensive care, be consulted by doctors, etc. Might want to be on each other's HIPPA (sp?) forms, do health power of attorney, living will, that sort of thing.

---
I am pretty sure there have been prior threads on Fatwallet about this subject - you might do a search to see what past contributors have said.

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Marriages ruin relationships and financials plain and simple. There's an old saying which always rings true. After marriage, the man hopes his wife stays the same, the wife hopes the man will change. The person prior to marriage may not necessarily be the same person who you've entered into a legally binding State sanctioned contract. I loved it when my ex-wife told me this is the real me. Notice, the real her didn't come out in five years of dating, but came out 2 years in marriage.

I showed her the door.  I even put a nice pink ribbon on it for her.  

Don't be stupid. Unless you hate money and financial security DO NOT GET MARRIED!!!

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How come everyone is assuming the OP is the man in the relationship. Isn't it just as likely that OP is the woman?

Edit:  Ok fine, he's a man.

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needdealsnow said:   Didn't you have a wife in Austin?
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1568653

  doesn't contradict this thread. remember, I called it first
How come everyone is assuming the OP is the man in the relationship. Isn't it just as likely that OP is the woman?
only if OP is gay married in TX

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codename47 said:   The biggest risk I see is if she decides one day that she is no longer happy or "in love" with you or whatever and hits you up for 18+ years of child support. No, any current receipts, sharing of costs, or whatever are going to be offset or count for anything, if it wasn't administered by the state. That said, you still get hit up with that for the difference of time if you are married. If you are married you get hit with 18- total years of marriage. If you aren't married, you get hit up with years remaining until 18 plus back child support to year zero and possibly interest.

Let me guess, she is pushing you to get married?

  
I don't know how true this is legally speaking and in which states it would apply if it were, so until you hear this from a family law attorney in your state, I would take it with a grain of salt

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meade18 said:   
codename47 said:   The biggest risk I see is if she decides one day that she is no longer happy or "in love" with you or whatever and hits you up for 18+ years of child support. No, any current receipts, sharing of costs, or whatever are going to be offset or count for anything, if it wasn't administered by the state. That said, you still get hit up with that for the difference of time if you are married. If you are married you get hit with 18- total years of marriage. If you aren't married, you get hit up with years remaining until 18 plus back child support to year zero and possibly interest.

Let me guess, she is pushing you to get married?

  
I don't know how true this is legally speaking and in which states it would apply if it were, so until you hear this from a family law attorney in your state, I would take it with a grain of salt

  I would say it is subjective to the whims of all parties involved and the abilities of the attorneys.  As much as we like to consider our legal system to be based in process and facts... reality is a different beast.  You get a judge that has a bias one way or the other (the judge with no-to-limited biases is a rare find), you could get wildly varying outcomes.  I wouldn't say that it is a definite outcome, but I wouldn't say it is out of the realm of possibilities, either.

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I don't know how true this is legally speaking and in which states it would apply if it were, so until you hear this from a family law attorney in your state, I would take it with a grain of salt

Exactly which part are you not sure about? Feel free to point it out.

Do you think guys do not get hit up for 18 years of child support? That is sorta not true as in some states it is up to age 21, not just 18.

Do you think you won't get hit with back child support if you are not married, never paid it and the mom demands it? I challenge you to show me a single state anywhere in the union where this is the case. Just one.

Are you not sure about not getting hit with child support for the remaining time from 18 or 21 after divorce? Again, show me a single state in the union where this is the case.

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Student loan repayment plans may be effected. I'm not sure of the details but I know a friend is married filing separately and the reason is student loans.

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codename47 said:   I don't know how true this is legally speaking and in which states it would apply if it were, so until you hear this from a family law attorney in your state, I would take it with a grain of salt

Exactly which part are you not sure about? Feel free to point it out.

Do you think guys do not get hit up for 18 years of child support? That is sorta not true as in some states it is up to age 21, not just 18.

Do you think you won't get hit with back child support if you are not married, never paid it and the mom demands it? I challenge you to show me a single state anywhere in the union where this is the case. Just one.

Are you not sure about not getting hit with child support for the remaining time from 18 or 21 after divorce? Again, show me a single state in the union where this is the case.

  
You seemed to imply that if you were living with the child and the child's mother unmarried but supporting the child for a decade, that when the child's mother and the child moved out, you would have to pay back child support for that decade where you already supported the child. I'm not saying that this has never happened in the past or won't happen in the future. But to say that every state's child support laws work this way sounds quite unbelievable. If you have references that prove you're right and I'm wrong, feel free to share and I will retract my statement. Otherwise, I would take this claim with a grain of salt.

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Yes, that is 100% correct and that is 100% how it works in every state in the union. Every state has back child support and if the women and kid live with you for 17 out of 18 years and she decides to move out and apply for welfare and demands child support, the dude is going to get hit with a debt for 17 years of child support plus 1 more year at a minimum. Guys have been hit with paternity fraud and child support for kids that aren't even theirs and the guys are not entitled to refunds from the state and would have to sue the mom that named them to get anything back.

If you owe more than $2500 in back child support, you can't even get a passport.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/informat...

https://www.avvo.com/topics/child-support-arrears

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/back-child-suppor...

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codename47 said:   Yes, that is 100% correct and that is 100% how it works in every state in the union. Every state has back child support and if the women and kid live with you for 17 out of 18 years and she decides to move out and apply for welfare and demands child support, the dude is going to get hit with a debt for 17 years of child support plus 1 more year at a minimum. Guys have been hit with paternity fraud and child support for kids that aren't even theirs and the guys are not entitled to refunds from the state and would have to sue the mom that named them to get anything back.

If you owe more than $2500 in back child support, you can't even get a passport.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/legal-matters/child-support.html

https://www.avvo.com/topics/child-support-arrears

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/back-child-support-laws.html

  But the claim you're making (or appear to be making) is that the mother can leave with the child after 17 years of the child living with both parents and claim back child support for that 17 year period. The references you cite don't back up your assertion. Your assertion may very well be correct (although it would be very surprising to me).

Lets say a couple lives together and the mother has no income, the father pays all expenses for the child for 17 years. If the mother leaves with the child, it seems that you're saying the father would have to pay the mother for support that was already provided to the child. My understanding of back child support was that it was intended for the purpose of allowing a parent (mother or father) to collect support for expenses that were paid by the custodial parent that should have been split/paid for by the non-custodial parent.

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Lets say a couple lives together and the mother has no income, the father pays all expenses for the child for 17 years. If the mother leaves with the child, it seems that you're saying the father would have to pay the mother for support that was already provided to the child.

Yup. That's how it works. I'm not saying it is fair or right, it just is what it is.

http://www.lawqa.com/qa/can-i-collect-child-support-if-i-am-livi...

Here are several responses from family law lawyers

https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/ask-a-lawyer-do-i-pay-child-sup...

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marginoferror said:   Student loan repayment plans may be effected. I'm not sure of the details but I know a friend is married filing separately and the reason is student loans.I hope your friend ran through both scenarios before coming to this conclusion. Filing separately has a lot of disadvantages, and only advantageous in a few rare scenarios (huge income disparity, huge medical expenses for one spouse).

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codename47 said:   Lets say a couple lives together and the mother has no income, the father pays all expenses for the child for 17 years. If the mother leaves with the child, it seems that you're saying the father would have to pay the mother for support that was already provided to the child.

Yup. That's how it works. I'm not saying it is fair or right, it just is what it is.

http://www.lawqa.com/qa/can-i-collect-child-support-if-i-am-livi... 

Here are several responses from family law lawyers

https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/ask-a-lawyer-do-i-pay-child-support-if-we-are-living-together-but-arent-married/

  You posted links and I was ready to concede. Then I read those pages. The first link seems to refute your argument so not sure why you posted it. The attorney's response in the second link is convoluted at best, but I don't think it even answers the question that the person asked. Either way though, it doesn't support your argument. It discusses a situation where a mother is on public assistance based on her income and custody of the child while there is a father who is/could provide support.

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scripta said:   
marginoferror said:   Student loan repayment plans may be effected. I'm not sure of the details but I know a friend is married filing separately and the reason is student loans.
I hope your friend ran through both scenarios before coming to this conclusion. Filing separately has a lot of disadvantages, and only advantageous in a few rare scenarios (huge income disparity, huge medical expenses for one spouse).

  Large disparity in loan amounts, the one with significant loans is planning to have them wiped out after 10 yrs. I assume they looked at both scenarios and made the decision as I can't imagine why they wouldn't do that.

rated:
meade18 said:   
icecube said:   A benefit: no marriage penalty on your taxes
Risks: I don't know, but I bet you should be able to mitigate any without requiring marriage

  
Most married couples benefit from filing joint, so unless the OP is in the minority, he isn't affected by the marriage "penalty"

  Aren't these 2 separate issues........icecube is talking about no marriage (both filing single) vs marriage (presumably MFJ) which OP is also.
You are talking about marriage presumably MFJ vs MFS.            

rated:
Whether you get married or not, you already may be screwed. In our land of equality for all genders, all it takes is a woman to wake up one day and make a decision on a whim that she wants a new life for you to be on the hook for up to 18 years of payments. No malice on your part required. You will automatically lose unless shes a drug-addicted, prostitute, with multiple felonies.

If you do get married, consider half of everything no longer yours. Don't rule out paying alimony because she can't adjust to a new lifestyle that easily. Try and avoid the marriage, and you may get put into a common law marriage without your say.

But then again, you might be one of those cute couples that everyone likes on Facebook because they were together for 60 years. So there's that.

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In any case, the way the current legal system is, it's not prudent for the person with more assets gets married without a prenup or irrevocable trust. You may say, but I have nothing. True, but in 5, 10 or 15 + years down the line, who knows (unless you have a crystal ball; of course). Head over to Bogleheads for more financial Q & A if you care. As for common law, only 10 states (Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah) as well as the District of Columbia recognize it. Unless you live in one of those states with your partner, there shouldn't be a common law claim.

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Greatness said:   In any case, the way the current legal system is, it's not prudent for the person with more assets gets married without a prenup or irrevocable trust. You may say, but I have nothing. True, but in 5, 10 or 15 + years down the line, who knows (unless you have a crystal ball; of course). Head over to Bogleheads for more financial Q & A if you care. As for common law, only 10 states (Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah) as well as the District of Columbia recognize it. Unless you live in one of those states with your partner, there shouldn't be a common law claim.


Who's to say that the companionship and help/support of a good wife didn't help earn the money in 5, 10 or 15 years?

Skipping 29 Messages...
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hairybeast said:   You are seriously understating the impact of actually have to deal with children in completing the regular chores, additional kids related stuff, and the so-call "non-kids" stuff, but you never seem to get the point in discussions related to kids. Have a few and then comment about your experiences and your wealth of free time.

 

 I dont have to understate anything. plenty of families , indeed now the majority, have both working spouses. Indeed, in this discussion you have two spouses in the evening. 
Rental don't equal kids
I didn't say they were and I didnt compare them. I mentioned it because sometimes I don't have free time because of that.

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