The tax-man – even in divorce – always has his say. This is not, however, necessarily a bad say. First, your tax returns will help you to organize and determine your financial standing, as well as your understanding of your past income and expenses. Second, you will be able to calculate tax credits (such as those available to those over age 65) and take them into account when budgeting for the future.
This, of course, leads us into another important aspect of the later-years divorce: Social Security benefits. Those age 62 and older are entitled to collect their own Social Security benefits, or half of those earned by your ex-spouse if:
Your marriage lasted at least 10 years and you are unmarried. If you remarry, you cannot collect unless your later marriage ends. It doesn’t matter if your ex-spouse has remarried.
The benefits you’re entitled to receive based on your own work are less than those you’d receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. If the benefits from your ex are higher, you receive your own benefits first and then an additional amount from your ex’s Social Security.
For more information on collecting Social Security from a Former Spouse, go to https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html.