For those who are married, entering retirement may seem relatively straightforward, as the couple can simply share in the assets they have accumulated together over the years. Meanwhile, for those going through divorce, the situation is a bit more complex. Not only must they complete equitable property division in Pennsylvania, but  they should be aware of how Social Security benefits are handled for divorced couples.

When an individual turns 62, he or she is eligible to make a claim on his or her ex-spouse’s work record if their marriage was 10 years long or longer. For this reason, those who have been married for almost 10 years may be wise to wait until they have reached the 10-year mark to move forward with a divorce. In addition, an individual making a claim on his or her ex-spouse’s work record must be single to receive it.

The Social Security benefit based on an ex-spouse’s work record is equal to the spouse benefit. In addition, the ex receiving benefits will be able to receive survivor benefits as well. Future benefits received from Social Security do not have to be divided as part of an equitable distribution divorce settlement.

When it comes to getting divorced, figuring out how best to protect one’s financial future can understandably be tricky. However, an attorney in Pennsylvania can offer the guidance necessary to make informed decisions regarding matters such as property division and determining how Social Security benefits factor into one’s future financial plan. The attorney’s goal is to make certain that a personally beneficial outcome is achieved given the circumstances surrounding the end of the marriage.

Source: thestreet.com, “How Divorce Affects Social Security and Retirement Accounts“, Robert Powell, Dec. 15, 2017