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Social Security benefits and divorce

When a Massachusetts couple is contemplating a divorce, there are often several issues that must be considered. If the couple has children, they may need to determine where the children will live and how much in child support the custodial parent may seek. However, many couples who are heading towards their 10-year anniversary may not realize that there are future matters that they may be forgetting about.

It was recently reported that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were heading towards a $150 million divorce that could potentially be finalized before their 10-year anniversary. Because of their financial status, it is likely that neither will need to receive Social Security benefits, but it should be noted that there are certain advantages to not rushing to divorce.

If the couple finalizes their divorce after the 10-year anniversary mark, one person may opt to seek their Social Security benefits before reaching the full retirement age. If the person with the higher Social Security benefits dies, the other person may be entitled to seek their former spouse's benefits. In some cases, a former spouse can also seek their former partner's benefits while delaying their own benefits.

Because many divorce legal issues, including property division and spousal support, can be particularly difficult depending on the couple's specific set of circumstances, a family law attorney can help a client understand the implications of the decisions that will have to be made. For example, the attorney may assist by educating a divorcing spouse about the future Social Security consequences and take them into account when attempting to negotiate an overall settlement agreement.

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Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
70 Washington Street, Suite 402
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-7774
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