Future financial security is a valid concern for those who are considering divorce. For individuals in Alabama who are closing in on retirement, those family law concerns might feel amplified. How will a person survive after splitting retirement assets? Will working past retirement become the new plan? The answers to these questions could lie in Social Security benefits.
Social Security benefits make up a sizable portion of many people’s retirement income. According to data from the SSA — Social Security Administration — married couples count on those benefits for 48 percent of their retirement income. Unmarried individuals rely on their Social Security benefits for 69 percent of their income. To protect one’s financial security in retirement, a divorced individual who either did not work or was otherwise not regularly employed can potentially still count on benefits based on their ex’s work history.
To draw an ex’s Social Security benefits, it is not enough to simply have been married and then divorced. The marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years, and the benefits for which a person otherwise qualifies for must be smaller than that of the ex spouse. A person must also be at least 62 years old, although it is also possible to wait to draw benefits until years down the road.
Rather than let financial concerns hold people back from pursuing a divorce, individuals may want to consider exploring their various options. Dealing with matters like property division, alimony and other family law issues can be easier for those who have a better grasp of their personal finances. This does not come easy to everyone though, so working with an experienced attorney may be helpful.