Law Offices of Peter G. Aziz & Associates LLC
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Retirement, Social Security benefits and divorce

A divorce will not always affect a New Jersey spouse's Social Security benefits. If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, the individual might be eligible to draw on the former spouse's Social Security earnings at or near retirement. To collect, it is necessary to remain unmarried and to have a smaller benefit than that of the ex-spouse.

For those born in 1960 or after, full retirement age is 67. It is possible to start drawing benefits at age 62, but they will be reduced. If a former spouse has not yet begun collecting benefits, it is necessary to wait at least two years after the divorce to start getting them.

A person who remarries will no longer be able to get benefits on the ex-spouse's contributions. If a second marriage also ends in divorce, however, the individual can go back to drawing on those contributions. Nevertheless, an individual may want to talk to a financial professional about how divorce will affect their life after retirement.

Retirement is one of a number of factors to consider while negotiating a divorce agreement. If the divorce is amicable, the couple might be able to work together on an agreement that leaves them both financially stable. For example, if a higher-earning spouse will have an easier time replenishing a retirement account, the lower-earning spouse might take a larger portion of that. In exchange, the higher-earning spouse could keep the home. If the couple must go to litigation, a judge will attempt to divide property fairly. Legal counsel could also help with this process.

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