Once an Illinois resident has made the decision to seek a divorce, retirement issues are most likely near the bottom of their priority list at the current moment. For the individual in his or her 20s, 30s or 40s, this may not be an issue. However, for an individual in his or her 50s or more, retirement issues are something to keep in mind when making divorce decisions.

Social Security benefits are an important consideration in deciding when to seek a divorce. Social Security regulations allow an ex-spouse to receive benefits based upon the other spouse’s income provided certain conditions are met. One of the most important conditions that affects the timing of the divorce is the 10 year rule. This rule states that the couple must have been married for at least 10 years to file for benefits based upon the ex-spouse’s income.

Other requirements that must be met include age and current marital status. The spouse filing to receive benefits based on an ex-spouse’s income must be at least 62-years old and unmarried. These benefits, based on the other’s income, can be especially important to the individual who took time away from the workplace to raise children and take care of the family.

Financial considerations are often a large part of almost any Illinois divorce proceeding. If the individual is close to meeting the requirements for receiving Social Security benefits, these qualification requirements should be kept in mind. Sometimes, waiting just a few months to finalize the divorce can mean a substantial difference in benefits.

Source: marketwatch.com, How divorce, remarriage impact Social Security, Robert Powell, Feb. 18, 2014