Divorce can alter your Social Security retirement benefits

One of the problematic issues of divorce is that it affect so many aspects of your life. You may have to change where you live, the type of car you drive, your relationship with your children, your economic lifestyle, and your future economic situation including your retirement. It even can affect your Social Security benefits.

All of this occurs on top of the emotional upheaval you are also going through, and because of that many people may skip over some of those important financial details. They may find too overwhelming and believe that they can address it at a later time when they are in a better place.

As tempting as that may be, don’t indulge that desire to delay carefully looking at your economic situation. For instance, if you have been married eight to nine years and have decided your marriage is over, you may want to consider toughing it out for another year or two.

This is because if you divorce at less than 10 years of marriage, you forfeit your potential divorced-spouse survivor benefit from Social Security. Now, you may decide that no matter what the future benefit may be, you may want out of your marriage, and want out now, but you should make that decision after becoming fully informed.

If your soon-to-be former spouse has a substantial Social Security benefit, by divorcing after less than 10 years of marriage you could be abandoning a significant income benefit when you reach retirement age.

Source:, “What does divorce have to do with Social Security benefits?” Bill Jones, June 25, 2016

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