Divorce and Social Security

On Behalf of | May 21, 2019 | Divorce

The Social Security Administration reports that 96% of workers throughout Virginia and the rest of the United States have Social Security coverage. People who are eligible to receive Social Security benefits when they retire should know how the process works.

For those who have been married, it may be possible to receive spousal benefits from Social Security, even if they have low income or have never worked. In fact, one can receive up to 50% of their spouse’s entire benefit if that ex is qualified for Social Security. It is also important to note that the eligibility to receive the benefits does not always go away if a divorce occurs. Individuals will find it helpful to be aware of their rights since the benefits to which they may be entitled, even after a divorce, can affect a retirement plan.

Certain conditions do have to be met in order for an individual to collect Social Security spousal benefits after a divorce. The marriage has to have lasted a minimum of 10 years, and the ex-spouse has to be entitled to either disability or retirement Social Security benefits. The divorced individual also has to be unmarried, at least 62 years old and entitled to benefits that are less than that of their spouse’s.

If one begins getting benefits at the age of full retirement, which is 67 years for people born after 1960, they may collect benefits that equal up to 50 percent of their ex-spouse’s full disability or retirement amount. Benefits collected before the full retirement age will be reduced.

A family law attorney could help a client pursue favorable divorce settlement terms regarding division of certain assets, including financial assets for retirement. The attorney may provide counsel regarding which assets should be obtained to ensure a comfortable retirement.



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