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What You Need to Know About Social Security Benefits and Divorce

SocialSec

For divorcing couples, dividing marital assets can be an extremely challenging task. Dealing with retirement funds, whether it is the value of a 401(K) account or pension benefits, can be particularly difficult. What many divorcing couples do not realize is that Social Security benefits may also be an issue in a divorce case. Indeed, when certain criteria, a divorcee may be entitled to a share of their former partner’s Social Security Benefits. Here, our top-rated Orlando divorce lawyer explains the basics of Social Security and divorce.

Social Security for Divorced Spouses: The Qualification Standards  

To receive a share of your former spouse’s Social Security benefits, you need to meet the eligibility requirements. Specifically, under current United States law, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires divorced spouses to meet the following four criteria before they can start collecting benefits:

  • Your marriage must have lasted for at least ten years;
  • You must currently be at least 62 years old, or, if your former spouse has passed away, you must currently be at least 60 years old;
  • You must be entitled to receive more from your ex’s Social Security contributions, then he or she is entitled to receive from your contributions; and
  • You must not currently be re-married.

Whose Social Security Benefits Should Be Claimed?

For many divorced spouses, navigating the Social Security claims can be difficult. You may not know whether you should simply collect your own personal benefits, or if you should claim benefits from your from your partner. Often, divorced spouses have paid into the Social Security system themselves, meaning they have the option to claim their own personal benefit or their divorced spousal benefit. Ultimately, what should be done in these circumstances has to be determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no simple answer that works for every case. Indeed, depending on the earnings of you and your former partner, it may make sense to claim your spousal benefit at age 66, the full retirement age for that specific benefit, and then switch over to your personal benefit at age 70.

Your Divorce Lawyer Can Help You With Retirement Planning Issues

If you are getting divorced, and retirement benefits are on your mind, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney about this issue. Your attorney will be able to review your case and help you navigate the property distribution process, with all retirement-related issues in mind, so that you are able to secure the maximum amount of income owed to you. You deserve financial protection during your golden years; do not let your divorce take that away from you.

Contact Our Top-Rated Orlando Divorce Lawyer  

If you are considering divorce and Social Security benefits are an issue in your case, our dedicated family law team is here to help. At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., we have the skills and experience needed to protect your financial interests. Do not delay: Call us now at 407-521-7171 to set up your confidential case review.

Resource:

ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourdivspouse.html

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