How Divorce Can Affect Your Social Security Benefits

If you are a retiree and you are divorced or are preparing for a divorce, it is very important to research how your Social Security benefits may be affected by your divorce. If your marriage lasted 10 years and you have been divorced for at least two years, then you may be able to achieve a divorced spousal benefit. You can either claim your own benefit or your ex-spouse's benefit depending on which one is higher.

You can also claim both benefits. Some divorced spouses have learned how to optimize their Social Security by beginning their divorced spousal benefit at the age of 66. They can then switch to their own benefit at age 70, normally building up so that they will receive more in the long run. Being strategic with your benefits in the long run could allow you to make tens of thousands of dollars in benefits during your retirement age.

If you begin claiming divorced spousal benefits between age 62 and age 66, you won't be able to restrict your filing. This is because individuals who file for early benefits are required to take the higher of personal or spousal benefits. If you are over the age of 66, you can opt for the lower benefit and wait until age 70 to request the higher payment. Also, if you retire early, your benefit may be adjusted due to an earnings limit.

Getting remarried after a divorce generally means that you will lose whatever benefits you were originally legible for with your former spouse. For most people, this may not be a big deal because it only takes a year of remarriage to become eligible on your new spouse's record.

If you have been married for 10 years more than once, you may be eligible for both of your ex-spouse's benefits but you can only receive the higher of the two choices. If neither of your ex-spouses have re-married, then they can also claim on your benefits.

If you want more information about divorce and Social Security benefits, don't hesitate to contact the firm today for more information. At Cutter & Lax, we are committed to seeking your best interests in your divorce.