Social Security Benefits and Divorce

A couple deciding to divorce will have various obstacles during the process. Asset division, child custody, and determination of how debts will be settled must be discussed and worked out between both parties. One complicated issue that a couple may have to deal with is Social Security benefits. For example, if both spouses plan to use their social security benefits to assist with living expenses, a divorce may cause them to rethink how their benefits will be handled. In certain instances, benefits may or may not be divided in the same manner as other assets, and some individuals may not be eligible to receive benefits at all.

Provisions And Qualifications

Typically, Social Security checks may be divided upon the establishment of a divorce settlement. However, in order to qualify for your former spouse’s Social Security benefits, the following criteria must be met:

  • The couple must have been married for at least ten years
  • The receiving spouse must be at least 62 years of age
  • The receiving spouse must be single
  • If the receiving spouse has remarried, he/she must have divorced the second spouse or the second spouse must be deceased
  • The benefits the receiving spouse wishes to collect must be greater than the amount he/she would have collected based on his/her own earnings history
  • The former spouse must either be eligible to receive benefits or currently receiving benefits
  • If the receiving individual passes on, his/her ex-spouse is eligible to receive the benefits as long as the aforementioned qualifications are met

An important factor to note is that the benefits one may collect based on their former spouse’s earnings will not reduce the amount the ex-spouse receives.

Speak with a San Marcos Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved one is involved in family law litigation or a divorce case with child support, custody, or visitation issues, and need legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact the Fischer & Van Thiel Family Law Firm of San Marcos at (760) 757-6854 today to get solid legal advice and a professional divorce lawyer consultation.