Will I Get Social Security Benefits from My Spouse if I Get Divorced?

social security benefits, division of property, divorce, Oswego Marital Property Division Attorney, retirement benefits, impact of divorceAccording to economist Marcus Dillender at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, the impact of divorce on your Social Security is worth considering when planning to end your marriage. And if your marriage lasted at least ten years, spousal benefits through Social Security may be available.

If your marriage is nearing the 10-year anniversary, waiting a few months to get a divorce could lead to higher Social Security payments pending your spouse has higher earnings records than you do. However, receiving Social Security benefits after a divorce can be a confusing process, especially since the Social Security Administration has several factors they consider before awarding payments to an ex-spouse. These factors include:

  • The marriage must have lasted 10 years or longer;
  • The ex-spouse is currently unmarried;
  • The ex-spouse is at least 62 years old;
  • The applicant is entitled to Social Security disability or retirement benefits;
  • The benefit that the ex-spouse is eligible to receive, as a result of his or her own work, is lower than the benefit he or she would get based on the former spouse.

Additionally, if an individual has not yet applied for retirement benefits, and he or she qualifies for them, the ex-spouse may receive benefits on that same record if the divorce has been final for at least two years. If the former spouse decides to remarry, he or she cannot collect benefits unless that remarriage is terminated through death, annulment or divorce.

The influence on Social Security benefits is only one factor that should be evaluated when you are considering divorce. Consulting with a divorce attorney for planning purposes can be a valuable use of your time so that you are more prepared with what to expect. If you are contemplating divorce and have questions about Social Security or other issues, contact an Illinois family lawyer today.

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