How Does Divorce Affect Social Security Benefits?

According to the U.S. government, divorced spouses have the right to collect a Social Security retirement benefits on the work record of an ex-husband or ex-wife if the divorce spouse is over the age of 62 and was married to the working spouse for over 10 years. The spouse seeking Social Security benefits must now be unmarried and must have been divorced for at least two years before requesting the collection of benefits. The working spouse who is eligible for benefits does not necessarily need to be receiving benefits in order for you to collect them as the divorce spouse.

Even if your ex-spouse is remarried, this will not affect your rights to divorcee benefits. Your rights will only be terminated if you choose to remarry, as you will now be eligible to collect Social Security from your spouse. Typically, a divorce spouse can receive up to 50% of an ex's full Social Security benefit or less if the benefits are taken before full retirement age.

You will want to consult with the Social Security Administration if you want to learn more about your full retirement age and determine how much your benefits will be reduced if you request them early. If you qualify for benefits based on your own work history, then you will be granted the greater of the two benefits. Chances are that you will get more money if you use your own work benefits than if you opt to receive half of your ex-spouse's.

If you are divorced but your ex-spouse passes away, and you are still not remarried, then you may be eligible for divorce survivor benefits. These benefits are worth up to 100% of what your ex-spouse was due at the time of his or her passing. In order to receive these benefits you will need to prove that you were married to your spouse for at least 10 years prior to the divorce. If you would like more information about divorce and Social Security, you may want to consult with a reliable San Fernando divorce attorney at Cutter & Lax. Contact the firm today to learn more!