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Social Security raises divorce issues for Connecticut couples

When one or both spouses are considering filing for a Connecticut divorce, there are a wide range of issues to consider. Many people put off filing because the timing is not right, for various reasons. Some wait until the kids have left for college, while others try to get past the holiday season first. One recent report suggests that there might be another good reason to hold off on a divorce filing.

As one or both spouses near retirement age, issues surrounding entitlement to Social Security may arise. When a couple has been married for at least 10 years, a spouse may be eligible to receive a portion of their husband or wife's Social Security benefits following their divorce. The calculation of the benefit can be as high as 50 percent, which can represent a significant amount of income to the receiving spouse.

In the eyes of the federal government, a couple is married up to the date that a divorce is finalized. Therefore, the timing of a divorce proceeding can become essential in determining whether a spouse is entitled to receive a cut of their former partner's Social Security. When a couple is nearing the 10 year mark, particular attention should be given to when a divorce is filed and how long the process takes to complete.

This is just one example of the many seemingly minor details that can be easily overlooked in a divorce. As with any legal matter, moving forward with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the process can make a huge difference in the bottom line of the eventual outcome. Anyone considering filing for divorce in Connecticut should strive to ensure that every detail, no matter how minor, is examined for the potential to either aid or impede a favorable outcome.

Source:, "Filing for divorce can raise Social Security questions," Holly Nicholson, Nov. 3, 2012

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