Divorce and your social security benefits

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Retirement Division

Many retirees ignore how a divorce can impact their social security benefits. It is important to understand how these benefits are calculated and how your marital status will affect the division of your marital assets. If you are considering a divorce, it’s best you ask a Westlake Village retirement benefits attorney about how this decision may affect your retirement. Every divorce case is different as well as the circumstances surrounding the separation, therefore, these rules can change. Seek the advice of a family law attorney to ensure that you make the best decision.

How long have you been married?

This is a very important factor to consider. If you have been married for more than 10 years, you may claim benefits from your former spouse. But you will have to meet some criteria such as:

  • You are 62 or older and unmarried
  • Your ex-qualifies to receive disability or Social Security benefits
  • Your benefits are less than your ex-spouse’s

If you remarry, you won’t have the chance to collect benefits from your former spouse, except your current marriage is annulled, your spouse dies or if you get a divorce. If you decide to work while receiving your social security benefits, you may receive higher benefits later on after you retire.

Remarriage and death of your ex-spouse

If you were married to your former spouse for more than 10 years, you will receive benefits as a widow or widower. However, some exceptions may apply. Also, if you remarry, you may disqualify to receive Social Security benefits from your former spouse unless your current spouse dies, you got divorced, or if the marriage was annulled.

Some limitations

If you are eligible to collect your own retirement, you will receive your Social Security benefits first. However, if your benefits are lower than your ex’s, you may receive additional benefits. It all depends on your retirement age. This is why it’s important you seek the advice of a Westlake Village retirement benefits attorney before making the final decision. The Social Security Administration can change these rules, therefore, you need to stay up to date with current retirement regulations.

When can you file?

You can file for Social Security benefits anytime you want and you don’t have to wait for your former spouse. As long as you are at least 62 and you have been divorced two years or more, you are good to go. You need to take a closer look at your current financial circumstances and determine what’s the best time to claim your benefits. Again, recent changes in retirement benefits should be taken into consideration. Divorce and remarriage are complex issues that will add to the whole retirement process.

Consult with an experienced Westlake Village divorce attorney about your options for retirement. An attorney can protect your interests and guide you towards a more stable financial future. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with family law attorney Stephanie L. Mahdavi.

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