What Are The Benefits Of Divorce In Your Senior Years?

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: September 25, 2021
Last updated: November 27, 2023

For older adults who are considered senior citizens, getting divorced can be an emotionally challenging process. However, there are some financial silver linings to getting divorced in your senior years. This includes a host of Social Security benefits that you may be able to qualify for and gain early access to a retirement fund. 

Gaining Earlier Access To A Retirement Fund 

For those aged 59 ½ and older, it is possible to withdraw money from your retirement account without paying an early withdrawal penalty fee. If you divorce your partner and reach a qualified domestic relations order agreement, you won’t have to pay the typical 10% penalty fee. 

However, you may still need to pay income tax if the money isn’t deposited into an IRA. Suppose you need a professional online divorce service in San Francisco. In that case, the legal team at Bliss Divorce can offer valuable insight into the unique aspects of the divorce process in the area, including considerations related to retirement funds and financial benefits.

Gaining Spousal Checks Earlier 

For those who are divorced, you may be entitled to special Social Security spousal benefits after you retire. If your marriage lasted 10 years or more, you might be eligible for these benefits. Typically, a married spouse needs to wait for their husband or wife to reach age 62 to receive spousal benefits. This is not the case for most divorced individuals. 

Potentially Receiving Survivor Benefits

In the unfortunate event that your former spouse passes away, you may also receive the full amount of their Social Security benefit.

However, you need to meet some requirements including having a marriage that lasted at least 10 years or more, being 60 years old or older, and not be entitled to retirement benefits equal or greater than that of your former spouse's benefit.

To qualify for certain benefits related to divorce in your senior years, specific criteria must be met, such as having a marriage lasting at least 10 years, being 60 years old or older, and not being entitled to retirement benefits equal to or greater than that of your former spouse's benefit. Pennsylvania has a range of senior benefits tailored to their needs. From property tax relief programs to prescription assistance, the state offers various resources to enhance the well-being of its older residents.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can there be benefits to getting a divorce in your senior years?

Yes, while challenging, a divorce in your senior years can provide the freedom to pursue personal interests, gain emotional relief from an unhappy marriage, and offer an opportunity for personal growth.

How can a senior divorce affect finances positively?

Divorce can potentially lead to better financial control and independence, especially if one party was primarily responsible for financial mismanagement in the marriage.

Can a senior divorce lead to improved relationships?

Yes, in some cases, a senior divorce can help improve relationships with family or friends that may have been strained due to marital issues.

To prevent social isolation from setting in after a recent divorce, learn about the benefits of companion care for seniors at Senior Strong.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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