There are a lot of things to consider if you’re facing divorce. Dividing households. Arrangements for children (if you have any.) Finding a new place to live. But what if you’re on Social Security?
People over 50 make up 25% of divorces in the US, up from 8% in 1990. A divorce can have a significant impact if you’re receiving Social Security benefits. Chances are your divorce won’t involve child custody issues (although that could still be a factor.) But divided retirement benefits, including Social Security, can be a hot-button issue for divorcing couples.
If you are divorcing a spouse and nearing retirement, or have already retired, you may be able to collect Social Security based on their work record. In order to collect, there are some requirements:
- You must be unmarried (but the former spouse may be remarried)
- The marriage must have lasted 10 years or longer
- You must be over the age of 62
- Your former spouse must be eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits
- The benefit you’ll receive from them must be more than you would receive from your own work record
Getting Social Security After A Divorce
If your former spouse is qualified for retirement benefits but hasn’t applied for them, you can still apply if you have been divorced for two years or more. However, you can still work while you receive benefits, but they will be reduced as long as you’re employed.
However, the benefit payment you’ll receive as a divorced spouse will be equal to half of your former spouse’s full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. The amount would not include any delayed retirement credits your former spouse would receive, and would not affect the amount they receive.
Your benefit payments end if you remarry. If your subsequent marriage ends (death, divorce, annulment) you can re-apply.
The Social Security Administration’s website has additional information, with a section with additional information on applying for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record.
Cohabitation And Common-Law Marriage In Fort Worth
More than ever, people over 60 are now choosing to live together instead of getting married so that retirement and Social Security benefits aren’t affected. But beware: Texas’ common-law marriage means that unless you take steps to prevent becoming “married,” you could find yourself “getting married” without a wedding. Speak with a family law attorney to make sure you can protect your Social Security and other benefits in Texas.
Contact Fort Worth’s Compassionate Divorce Attorney
Many people don’t consider the changes that a divorce can have on their Social Security benefits.
Wendy L. Hart is an experienced family law attorney helping people throughout Tarrant County who need help in a divorce. As a divorcee herself, Wendy understands the process as well as the difficulties involved. We represent both for men and women. We’ll make sure you’re treated fairly and will protect your interests and your children.
Visit our Mansfield office, use our online contact form, or call us at (817) 842-2336. We’re ready to help.