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Divorce And Social Security

Divorce And Social SecurityIf you’ve decided to file for divorce, or maybe you’re going through one right now through no preference of your own, then there will be many financial questions arise as to how certain things will be affected moving forward. In a recent article for MarketWatch, columnist Robert Powell took aim at one of the more confusing areas — how the divorce papers affect your Social Security.

Powell notes that if “you’re just shy of your 10th wedding anniversary, you might want to wait a bit and use the time to brush up on all things Social Security before you make the break official.”

“Clearly, a lot of factors need to be taken into account when making divorce decisions,” economist Marcus Dillender told Powell. “However, people should be aware of the fact that Social Security provides spousal benefits to divorced people if their marriages lasted at least 10 years.”

The Case For Waiting

Dillender advised that couples planning on divorcing around the 10-year mark should consider “waiting a few months,” and that doing so “may result in higher Social Security payments if their spouses’ earnings records are higher than their own.”

Thinking Retirement rep Andy Landis added: “So if your divorce will be final at the nine-year-and-10-months mark, you might delay signing for a couple months, just to keep the door open to Social Security’s former spouse benefits.”

Social Security specialist Martha Shedden of ClientFirst Financial, advised those considering divorce forms to examine the details as they wrestle with their decision, adding that the SSA determines that you can receive benefits based on your spouse’s record (even if you’ve remarried) based on these requirements:

  • The marriage lasted 10 years or more;
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried and/or age 62 or older;
  • The benefit your ex is entitled to receive based on his or her own work is less than the benefit he or she would receive based on your work; and
  • You fall under the entitlement to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

For a more in-depth look, make sure you check out the full article here.

In Summary

Social Security and divorce is yet another reminder that ending a marriage should be a decision driven by your head as much as your heart. Before you move forward, do the research necessary to get the best outcome.

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