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What Happens to Social Security Benefits After a Divorce?

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If you are getting divorced, you are most likely wondering how it may affect your Social Security benefits. Please continue reading and reach out to our Montgomery County family law attorney to learn more about Social Security & divorce and how our firm can help you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

When can a divorce affect Social Security?

Your Social Security benefits will not be affected by a divorce when your retirement benefits are based on your own work history. In the case that your benefits are based on your former spouse’s work history, you will be eligible to receive benefits if you meet the following criteria following your divorce:

  • You are unmarried
  • You were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years
  • You are 62 years or older
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to receive Social Security benefits
  • The amount you are entitled to depending on your own work history does not exceed the amount you are entitled to based on your ex-spouse’s history

If you have been divorced for at least two years and meet the above criteria, you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits. This is true even if your former spouse has not yet applied for benefits.

Consider the following important notes regarding this process:

  • Social Security will not notify your spouse of your application and your application.
  • Your application will not affect the amount your ex-spouse will receive.
  • If your ex-spouse has remarried, the benefits you receive will not impact their new spouse’s ability to receive benefits, if they are eligible.

What does Social Security consider when determining the total benefit amount owed?

The following factors will be considered when determining the total benefit amount owed to you:

  • Your work history
  • Your ex-spouse’s work history

You will receive one of two options: 100% of the benefits based on your own work record or 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefits. What you receive will depend on which amount is greater.

Do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

You may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits if you or your former spouse meet Social Security’s definition of disabled. However, qualification will be based on if you have worked long enough in jobs covered by Social Security.

You may qualify for disability insurance benefits if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are unmarried
  • You were married to your ex for at least ten years and are at least 62 years old, or you are caring for your ex-spouse’s natural or legally adopted child under 16 or a disabled child who qualifies for disability benefits under your ex’s work record.

If you have any additional questions regarding your divorce, it is recommended that you reach out to an experienced The Woodlands, Texas divorce lawyer.

Contact Our The Woodlands, Texas Firm

If you are looking for an expert Montgomery County divorce lawyer, Bolton Law is the right law firm for you. Bolton Law’s legal team handles all family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and much more. Contact Bolton Law today to schedule your initial consultation.

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