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Information helps ensure financial security after divorce

Ready to divorce, but worried about future financial stability? Especially for New York couples who decide to retire later in life, there may be confusion and worry when it comes to retirement and Social Security benefits. If an individual's retirement plans hinged on an ex-spouse's work history and benefits, a divorce may not interrupt those plans too much. 

Filing for Social Security benefits based on an ex-spouse's work history can be a relatively straightforward and pain-free process. As long as a couple was married for at least 10 years, an individual should qualify to claim Social Security benefits based on his or her ex-spouse's work record. For instance, when filing based on a former spouse's work history, an individual must be single. A second marriage does not disqualify a person from seeking the benefits from his or her first spouse if the second marriage ends in divorce or the death of that spouse.

Prior to filing, both former spouses must meet the minimum age requirement. That means that both the ex-spouse and the person filing must be at least 62 years old. Of course, there may be other factors that can complicate the matter, but individuals can address these issues with the help of a legal professional. 

Especially in marriages in which one spouse worked while the other did not, financial worries can complicate the decision to divorce. However, individuals in New York should not let these concerns prevent them from seeking a necessary divorce. Not only can individuals potentially file for Social Security benefits based on their former spouse's work history, but things such as alimony and, in some instances, child support can help ease the transition to single life.

Source:, "Social Security and divorce", May 6, 2015

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