Rushing into divorce isn’t always a good idea, especially when you have many assets to split. However, there’s another reason not to rush, especially if you’re close to your 10-year anniversary. According to an article from June 2, divorcing before your 10th wedding anniversary can result in the forfeiture of any spousal benefits you could receive from Social Security.
If you live a luxurious lifestyle, you may not think you’ll ever need Social Security income, and you may not. For many people, though, that income will come in handy during retirement years. This income is a retirement benefit; if you can stay together long enough to reach the threshold, you’ll be able to claim it. If not, you’ll lose all rights to it.
After you reach a 10-year wedding anniversary, you can decide if you want to receive your Social Security benefits before you reach your full retirement age. Age 62 is currently the earliest a person can claim the benefit, but full retirement age isn’t until 66 or 67 depending on when you were born. If you’re married when you claim, you can decide to take your earnings early, while your spouse could decide to wait. If you’re divorced after your 10-year anniversary, you’ll get that same benefit.
Also consider the fact that if your spouse has a higher benefit and passes away before you, you could step up into that higher payment bracket, even if that spouse was an ex. This needs to be considered in your divorce planning, because it’s a benefit to both parties that will need to be recognized and discussed.
Source: MarketWatch, “Why Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck shouldn’t rush into divorce,” Joe Lucey, June 02, 2015