When getting a divorce, so many things have to be addressed, especially if the parties to the divorce have been married for a while. The longer a marriage lasts, the more things the divorcing party has to deal with. The big-ticket items like property division, asset valuation, child support and child custody are often at the forefront of divorce proceedings. Moreover, prenuptial agreements may take care of a lot of the money matters in divorce. However, there are other aspects of divorce that may go unnoticed and under the radar, like dealing with social security benefits.
Social security benefits can be affected in divorce. People getting a divorce probably don't think about this because one is not eligible to apply for any type of benefit of this type until much later in life. So, when getting a divorce at 30, 40 or 50, very few individuals think about a benefit that is not available until 60+. In saying that, knowing the rules and regulations that come with being divorced, and eligibility for higher social security benefits can be financially beneficial depending on one's individual situation. For instance, the amount of time you're married dictates eligibility for an ex-spouse's social security benefit.
Because divorce encompasses a plethora of issues, it is easy for some to be overlooked. The above mentioned matter surrounding social security falls into that category. There may be other divorce-related issues that also slip through the cracks and that the courts may not necessarily focus on, which are important in their own right. Keeping all of these types of things in mind when going through a divorce can prove to be helpful in the long run.
Source: Fox Business, "5 Ways Divorce Can Impact Your Social Security Benefits," May 13, 2014