The average length of a marriage in the United States is about eight years, but longer-term marriages are not immune from breakups. For this latter group, divorce can have an even more profound impact on long-term financial plans as the split comes just at the point when income is highest and retirement planning comes squarely into focus.
While there has been a trend toward greater income equality among married couples, in many cases the income disparity between husbands and wives can be a key source of financial stress that leads to a breakup. This leaves the couple, and the courts, in the difficult position of determining a division of financial resources that is equitable for the long term. Often, couples focus exclusively on dividing their current property without giving enough consideration to the impact this division will have on their retirement prospects.
Decisions regarding Social Security retirement benefits should play a key role in determining the fairness of any divorce settlement. For couples contemplating divorce, or already divorced and approaching retirement age, it is important to understand the rules regarding how divorce can impact the size of this important guaranteed retirement income stream.
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Mayes, David T. (2013). Social Security decisions after divorce. seacoastonline.com. Retrieved on December 5, 2013, from http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131117-BIZ-311170317.
Article Writen by: Divorce Without War December 5th, 2013