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What to Know About Social Security and Spousal Benefits in a Divorce

by Brie Reyes

There are many criteria that individuals may not know about with social security and spousal benefits in a divorce, and it is different for each person depending on their situation. We have provided some information that will give you guidance on how to navigate the process. For additional insights and for financial professional assistance, please contact Smart Financial Divorce today.

You Need To Have Been Married To The Individual For Over 10 Years

There are spousal benefits that can be awarded to someone after their divorce if they were with the other party for more than 10 years. There are many common misconceptions about this that cause conflict. Many times, individuals aren’t fully aware of the rights and the criteria in place that need to be met in order to receive Social Security from their ex’s benefits.

Age Is Important

You must be 62 years of age in order to receive Social Security benefits, and your ex will have to be 62 to collect yours. It is not possible to collect prior to this age, and it is important to note that the amount you receive over the years will be reduced if you start collecting right at 62 years old. An attorney or financial manager can assist you in finding out how much you and your spouse or ex-spouse will receive in benefits depending on certain factors, including when you start collecting on them.

Remarriage Makes A Difference

You will not be able to collect on your ex-spouse’s Social Security if you remarry. However, an ex-spouse still can make a claim even if you are married to someone else. What complicates the situation is that there is nothing to prevent more than one individual from trying to get spousal benefits from you, including Social Security, provided you were married to each for over 10 years.

There are other factors that are involved in determining if you can get Social Security benefits based on your ex’s Social Security. This includes if you are on Social Security already (it wouldn’t disqualify you from claiming) and how much you receive (the party with the lower amount of benefits would get to claim on their ex-spouse’s Social Security). You should remember that it is typically split by 50 percent.

It is in your best interest to talk to a family law attorney, a financial professional, and undergo mediation during the divorce process. You also can arrange for this after you’ve already completed your divorce. If you need financial guidance during your divorce, contact Smart Financial Divorce today.

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