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Planning for retirement during divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2021 | Property Division |

Planning for retirement in Alabama often involves things like IRAs, 401(k) accounts and Social Security benefits. Things can get complicated when thinking about what retirement will look like after a divorce, though, especially considering that most retirement accounts are divided during property division. While this might lead to diminished savings, there might be less to worry about when it comes to Social Security benefits.

Is it possible to get an ex’s benefits?

After divorce, it is possible to draw Social Security benefits based on an ex spouse’s work history rather than your own. This means that if someone did not work during marriage or earned significantly less than a spouse, he or she can still count on those benefits. To qualify, one must:

  • Have been married for at least 10 or more years
  • Have been divorced for at least two years
  • Have not remarried

If a couple ended a marriage on relatively good terms, one spouse might feel hesitant to draw benefits on the other’s work history based on a common myth — that doing so will reduce the benefits that the ex can receive. In reality, receiving benefits has no effect whatsoever on how much the ex will receive. There is also no need to ask for the ex’s permission or to wait until he or she begins receiving benefits, either.

Prioritizing retirement after divorce can be a challenge. It is important for Alabama divorcees to consider all of their financial options during this process, including things like spousal support, retirement accounts and Social Security benefits. Understanding how decisions made during property division might also impact one’s future can also prove helpful.