Heymann & Fletcher

Divorce can affect people's retirement goals

For people who are planning to retire soon in New Jersey, getting divorced can be overwhelming due to the financial consequences of this type of family law proceeding. However, individuals who are getting a divorce might be entitled to receive extra Social Security retirement benefits. These additional benefits will be based on their exes' earnings and work record.

Additional retirement benefits from Social Security can help to boost people's incomes during their golden years, particularly if their spouses earned a lot of money during their careers. This is particularly valuable if a person's own benefit is smaller since he or she did not work outside of the house for several years. It is possible to qualify for the additional benefits if both a person and his or her spouse are a minimum of 62 years old.

Receiving the extra benefits is also possible if the marriage lasted for a minimum of a decade. If one's ex-spouse did not file for retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration, the divorce must have been finalized two years ago at least. If one's ex did file, the two-year time limit does not exist.

Getting a divorce in New Jersey can be financially nerve-wracking at any age, but it can be particularly damaging for people who are getting ready to retire. Besides taking advantage of extra Social Security benefits, it may behoove a person to try to mediate the divorce or negotiate on matters such as asset division and property distribution with his or her spouse. This can increase both people's chances of achieving a mutually beneficial settlement without further court intrusion.

Source: nasdaq.com, "Social Security After Divorce", Aug. 12, 2015

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