I have a girlfriend and am thinking about marrying her. I understand marriage has certain benefits, such as being able to relocate to some other country and make immigration easier, in case of different passports. In addition, she can visit me in the hospital when I'm seriously ill. Finally, when it comes to having children, marriage makes paperwork easier. Some governments also give subsidies to married couples, and penalize singles.
On the flip side, I understand marriage legally entails merging the personal finances of two people. This is akin to starting a business venture with someone with 50% shares. Although I really love my girlfriend, I do not regard her as a business partner. Her profession, skills and industry experience are quite different from mine.
Therefore, I would like to get married, but at the same time, I want to retain my rights to have my own personal finance and property. I'm willing to contribute to a shared pool of money for the both of us, but I want to do that strictly on a voluntary basis. I'm willing to put in more money in the pool than my girlfriend. In addition, in case it's needed, I want the money from the pool returned to me on a pro rata basis.
I understand that signing a prenup can solve some of these issues. However, it's necessary that all funds must be declared in advance of the prenup. In addition, everything that is accumulated after the marriage is started, becomes automatically shared property. I've also heard stories where even cohabiting couples may be regarded as married under some circumstances, making their personal property and finances shared by default.
How can I legally marry someone, so that the state recognizes them as my partner for immigration and for having children, while at the same time, I completely retain my autonomy and rights to have my own private property under all circumstances by default, and only optionally voluntarily I may contribute to a shared pool of funds on a pro rata basis.
This question becomes even more relevant with the huge divorce rates that keep increasing world wide. I read many stories where people automatically lost half of their wealth purely due to the fact that they married and then divorced, which can be initiated by anyone anytime. In addition, certain spouses have vastly different spending habits, being less frugal. There can even be ongoing future expenses, such alimony or child support.
How can I avoid these risks? I'm open to marrying in any jurisdiction worldwide. I'm mainly looking for legal solutions that protect my personal finance and property long term, while allowing us to relocate and have kids.