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I Have Been Married Almost 10 Years And Want To Get Divorced In Florida. Should I Wait Until After We've Been Married 10 Years To Divorce?

If your marriage is a bad one and you are desperate to divorce, that’s understandable, but if you are just shy of being married 10 years, you may want to wait just a little longer. Under current law, Social Security provides spousal benefits to divorced people if their marriages lasted at least 10 years. If your spouse’s earnings records are higher than yours, waiting to reach 10 years of marriage could result in more money to you later.

According to the Social Security Administration, even if you are divorced, you can receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record, even if your spouse has remarried, if you were married over 10 years, you are not remarried, your ex-spouse is age 62 or older, the benefit that you are entitled to receive as an ex-spouse is greater than what you would receive based on your own work record, and you are entitled to Social Security retirement benefits or disability benefits.

Collecting benefits from your ex does not affect his or her benefit or that of his or her current spouse if remarried. Also, both ex-spouses can collect that benefit off the other’s record at the same time. If you have been divorced at least two years, you are “independently entitled” to ex-spouse benefits, which means you can qualify for those benefits even if your ex may not have applied for them.

Studies have shown that many couples, particularly older couples, wait to get divorced until after they cross the 10-year mark. One reason may be to preserve those benefits. However, many couples may be willing to wait a few months to keep their options open, but will not wait for years.

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