Making The Complex

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Factoring Social Security planning into divorce settlement

For Louisiana residents who are negotiating the end of a marriage, Social Security is often the last thing on their minds. Even if that is the case, understanding how marriage and divorce can impact Social Security is an important consideration, regardless of the age of the parties. Retirement planning is an essential financial matter, as a divorce settlement can completely alter the retirement prospects of one or both spouses.

When a marriage lasts for 10 years or more, divorced spouses have an option to claim spousal benefits on the employment record of their former partner. This allows them to postpone claiming benefits on their own employment history. The bottom line can be a significant increase in the total amount of Social Security payments that an individual can access over the course of their retirement years.

In order to claim benefits after divorce, the party making the claim must be unmarried. If he or she remarried but that union ended through death or divorce, it is still possible to claim benefits through the employment record of a prior spouse. For people nearing retirement age, this could make it less advantageous to remarry. 

When negotiating a divorce settlement, it is critical to have a comprehensive understanding of all financial matters pertaining to divorce. Thinking ahead regarding retirement planning is a great way to make choices that are in line with a Louisiana resident’s long-term goals. Social Security is just one of many components of savvy retirement planning, but it is one that deserves careful consideration.

Source:, “Financial planning for divorce? It’s not just for women“, Beth Lynch, Oct. 2, 2017


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