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Divorce timing could yield big Social Security reward

For couples in Nevada who are preparing to divorce, the timing of their filing can make a great deal of difference in the eventual outcome. This is especially true in regard to one’s Social Security benefits, and how the benefits earned by a spouse could come into play during retirement. It is well worth the time and effort to research the issue in more depth before moving forward with a divorce.

Once a marriage reached the 10-year mark, the calculation of Social Security benefits shifts. This is because spouses who were married to their partner for 10 years or more are eligible to claim spousal benefits on the work record of their former husband or wife. In order to claim those benefits, the claiming spouse must be unmarried and be at least 62 years of age or older. In addition, the claiming spouse’s own benefit level must be below that of the former spouse.

Once these criteria are met, a divorced spouse can begin claiming against the work record of their former partner, no matter how many years have passed since the marriage ended. Doing so does not have any impact on the benefit amount of the ex, nor of his or her current spouse. If one’s former spouse is eligible to begin claiming benefits but has not yet begun to do so, a divorced spouse must wait at least two years after the divorce to begin his or her own claim on those benefits.

As outlines here, the rules and regulations laid out by the Social Security Administration come into play only for those couples who have been married for a period of 10 years. For those in Nevada who are approaching their tenth wedding anniversary, it may be advantageous to postpone signing divorce papers until that date has passed. Delaying a divorce in this way can make a sizable difference in the availability of retirement funds once an individual reaches that stage of life.

Source: Yahoo Finance, How divorce, remarriage impact Social Security, Robert Powell, Feb. 18, 2014

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