How Divorce Can Impact Your Social Security Benefits

When it comes to Social Security benefits and your divorce, “for better or for worse” and “for richer or for poorer” can take on a quite literal meaning. Retirees are often uninformed of how a change in their marital status affects their Social Security benefits. Below you will find some ways in which your Social Security Benefits can be impact by your divorce.

Length of Marriage and Length of Divorce

Length of Marriage. How long did your marriage last? This will impact your eligibility for divorced spousal benefits. A marriage of ten years or longer and a divorce of at least two years means you can claim either your own benefit or your ex-spouse’s benefit. Go with whichever is higher. You can also claim both benefits. Divorced spouses often choose to optimize their Social Security by beginning their divorced spousal benefit at age 66 (current full retirement age (FRA)) and then switching to their own benefit at 70. This is called a restricted filing application.

Make Sure You’re Able to Restrict Filing After Divorce

But if you begin claiming divorced spousal benefits between 62 and 66 you are not able to restrict your filing. People filing for early benefits are required to take the higher or personal or spousal benefits. And if you work during this time period, your benefit could be adjusted downward because of an earnings limit.

Remarriage After Divorce and Social Security

Remarriage after a divorce usually means you will lose any benefits you were eligible for from your ex-spouse. It will only take a year of remarriage to become eligible based on your new spouse’s record. But if your new spouse has a job that does not require them to report income you might not be eligible for spousal benefits. One exception to this loss of benefits is if your second spouse passes away.

For advice on social security and divorce and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.

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