How you may be able to claim benefits on an ex-spouse’s Social Security record

How you may be able to claim benefits on an ex-spouse’s Social Security record

34468000_S.jpgWhen a couple decides to divorce, money is often a, if not the, major concern. When coming to an agreement about the division of marital assets, divorcing spouses must not only take into account their current, but also future financial needs. For individuals who are in their 50s or early 60s, it’s important to have enough money to retire and live out one’s retirement years comfortably.

In addition to splitting marital assets held in banking, savings, investment and retirement accounts; upon turning age 62, an individual may also be able to claim benefits via an ex-spouse’s Social Security record.

In order to collect Social Security benefits via an ex-spouse’s record, an individual must meet the following qualifying criteria.

  • Your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years
  • You are at least age 62 or older
  • You are not married
  • Your own Social Security benefit amount is less than “one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount”

Additionally, even in cases where an ex-spouse hasn’t applied to take retirement benefits, as long as he or she is a qualifying age and a divorce occurred two or more years ago, an individual can claim benefits on an ex-spouse’s record. For some individuals, it makes the most financial sense to begin drawing benefits on an ex-spouse’s record and delay drawing from one’s own record until a later age.

As the divorce rate among individuals age 50 and older continues to remain high, many so-called grey divorcees must be strategic when it comes to planning for and funding retirement. A divorce attorney will work to win a divorce settlement that helps ensure that an individual will be able to live out his or her retirement dreams as well as answer any questions about claiming Social Security benefits via an ex-spouse’s record.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced,” April 21, 2016

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