Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

Three ways that divorce affects your retirement

Most people count down the days until they can retire. They imagine golfing, reading and taking time for themselves – without the pressure of work on their shoulders. However, divorce often interrupts those daydreams.

Divorce will throw a wrench into any retirement plan. You will experience every challenge, especially if you shared a plan with your spouse. But how does divorce affect our plans?

Social security

Most Americans depend on social security benefits during their retirement. They need a stable income to fund their daily routine and any other excursions. However, social security benefits are at risk during a divorce.

According to Investment News, most couples have to divide all retirement benefits, including social security. The former spouse will most likely have a claim to benefits if they were married for more than ten years, they are not currently married and if their ex-spouse is eligible for benefits and over the age of 62.


Most retirement plans depend on some sort of stock option, including 401(k)s or IRAs. They are incredibly useful because they allow holders to gain significant assets over time and depend less on government benefits, like social security.

However, stock plans are just as vulnerable as social security during divorce proceedings, especially if you share stocks with your former spouse. In an equitable distribution state, like Missouri, you split all the accounts through the court system. The judge ultimately decides a fair distribution between the spouses.


For most couples, the most significant asset they share is the family home. And the same is true for retirees. They depend on their house to either live in for the rest of their life or to sell to increase their financial assets. It makes the house a versatile asset for most retirees.

But it’s more complicated during a divorce because most couples either have to compromise or sell the house to divide the home fairly. One spouse may even take out a reverse mortgage to pay out the other spouse from home.

Retirement planning is already tricky, especially without the pressure of a pending divorce. It’s best to work with the right attorney and find a strategy that allows you to keep the most significant assets and start a new retirement plan where you can enjoy your time in peace.

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