If you're divorcing late in life, then one of the most important things you need to negotiate is how your spouse’s pension, retirement benefits, or earned income will be apportioned to you. For most elderly people, it’s not feasible to simply get a job, so any income is vital to their quality of life. That’s why Social Security is so relevant to divorce—it's a net of protection retired people need.
Here are 3 Social Security benefits for divorced couples who were married for over 10 years:
#1: You Can Receive Benefits Based on Your Ex-Spouse’s Employment History
If you spent most of your marriage unemployed, then you might be at a disadvantage for receiving Social Security payments. Thankfully, Social Security allows you to claim up to 50% of your ex-spouse’s payments based on his or her employment record instead if it’s higher than what you would receive.
Note: You're eligible to start receiving payment at 62 years old.
#2: Your Benefits Don’t Affect Your Ex-Spouse
When we say you receive 50% of your spouse’s benefits, we don’t mean that you get half of his or her share—we mean that you receive an amount equal to 50% of their benefits. Your payment does not affect your ex at all; in fact, they don’t need to know that you’re benefiting from their record.
#3: You Receive 100% of Social Security Benefits after Death
You continue receiving benefits from your spouse’s record even if they remarry, but more importantly, you will end up receiving 100% of their Social Security benefits after he or she dies. This protects retirement age divorcees from financial ruin if their former spouse dies.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of these benefits is how you benefit from something that doesn’t affect your ex-spouse at all. As a result, it doesn’t become a negotiation point during a property division hearing, and it becomes a dependable source of income regardless of the outcome of the divorce.
If your long-term marriage is about to end, you’ll want an attorney who understands what’s at stake for you and how the law can protect you. Call our Riverside divorce lawyers today at (888) 251-9618.