Divorce and Remarriage Effects on Social Security Retirement Benefits | Law Firm Newswire

Divorce and Remarriage Effects on Social Security Retirement Benefits

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) March 18, 2014 - People considering divorce as their 10-year wedding anniversary approaches should know that delaying the split until after the decade mark can result in higher Social Security retirement benefits for a spouse with a lower earning record.

Consider an example of a divorced couple where an ex-husband had a higher earnings record than an ex-wife. If the couple was married for 10 years or more, the ex-wife can receive higher benefits based on his record, provided that she is age 62 or older and has not remarried.

Even if the ex-husband has not applied for retirement benefits, the ex-wife may receive benefits based on his record if they have been divorced for more than two years. If the woman remarries, then she is no longer able to collect the benefits unless the later marriage ends.

Recent years have seen a rise in both marriages and divorces later in life, and statistics suggest that divorcing couples may take retirement benefits into account. There is a measurable increase in divorce after the 10-year mark. As might be expected, the effect is most pronounced for couples nearing retirement age. A recent study found that for people 55 and older, there is an 11.7 percent increase in the likelihood of divorce at about the decade mark. For couples age 35 to 55, that drops to a 6 percent increase in likelihood of divorce at 10 years, and for people under age 35, there is almost no effect.

Other researchers are skeptical that many people take retirement benefits into account in their divorce decisions, pointing to studies that show that only 13 percent of people are very knowledgeable about how Social Security benefits are calculated.

Whether or not divorcing couples currently consider retirement benefits in timing their split, many advisers agree that they should. Divorcing just short of the 10-year mark could result in thousands of dollars in lost benefits, so it may be worthwhile for some to delay the process.

Financial considerations are often part of decisions about divorce, so it is important to be aware of how Social Security benefits can be affected.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
[email protected]

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone

  • The Sandwich Generation and the Burden of Too Much Stuff
    Middle-aged people find themselves taking care of both their parents and their children, along with personal commitments like career and home. It seems like there is no end to the work that must be done and the roles that must be filled. Frequently, members of the sandwich generation end up as the caretaker of everyone […]
  • Seniors and Driving: When Is It Time To Give Up The Car Keys?
    Knowing when to stop driving as a senior is rarely easy. For many, driving represents independence, mobility and socialization. Giving it up is difficult to imagine. For some, the logistics of no longer being able to drive seem impossible to manage. Data shows that older drivers do pose a real risk to themselves and others […]
  • What Happens to the Family House?
    As if the death of parents is not hard enough, deciding what to do with their home often adds extra layers of complication. In most cases there are three options to consider. You can sell the house, you can live in the house yourself or you can make the house an investment property and rent […]

Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required